For a rose hybridizer, that sudden rush of seedlings flowering for the first time is a lot like Christmas: each one a gift that nobody has ever seen before, the product of much patience and tender cultivation. Such anticipation. Except its a kind if alternate reality Christmas where Tim Burton has made the rules: most of the presents are lumps of coal, with the occasional utilitarian pair of socks in grey or white. Nothing offensive, nothing exciting......and so many lumps of coal. We all aim, us hybridizers, to create diamonds. Lots of 'em. But the reality is that most of what we get is dull chunks of carbon by the bushel. So be it. The diamonds do appear, if only rarely.
A couple of days ago I posted a photo of a bud of a 'Hansa' hybrid I had been anticipating. This is what I got:
A throwback to its species origin. Ah well. Perhaps it has a trick or two up its sleeve yet. After all, genetically it has an infusion on both sides of its ancestry of non-Rugosa genes. It might look like an ordinary R. rugosa, but what about its genotype? Maybe it will breed something more interesting. Maybe its not a lump of coal at all, maybe it is a sock after all: a sock with a purpose.