Monday, January 25, 2016

The Best Seedlings of 2015

The new rose seedlings are starting to sprout like weeds!  Counted 918 on Saturday and germinations increasing daily.  The best early germinator continues to be 'Pearl Sanford', with 26% of the seeds already germinated.

It will be a few weeks before any of the new seedlings show off their first blooms.  During this time of the year, I like to reflect on the best seedlings of last year (2015), looking to use most of these for crosses in 2016.

So here they are, the best of 2015.

Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 Rose Germinations - Part 1

They're sprouting!

Above are seedlings of a mini Hulthemia R82-1 crossed with a larger Hulthemia Q247-3.  This seed parent is having the best early germinations so far.  Q247-3 is one of my best Hulthemias and is shown below.

Next, is a seedling from one of my more anticipated crosses, a seedling of 'Midnight Blue' X 'Blue For You'.  The cotyledons have a purplish coloration, so I am hopeful that this suggests that it's blooms will have a nice more purple to blue coloration.  We should get a better idea about it's bloom color in about 8 weeks - I can't wait!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

What New Roses Await in 2016?

The seedling beds are all planted again and ready to go!

First each group of crosses were planted together and tags were placed to indicate the parentage of each cross. 

Next, a top dressing of perlite was used to cover the newly planted seeds.  This is done to provide a dryer surface layer to help prevent a fungus from growing that is deadly to new seedlings, called "damp off".

This year we planted just under 41,000 seeds.  Some of my most anticipated crosses are listed below.  J76-3 is 'Thrive!', and I206 is 'First Impression'.  G168-2 is 'Thrive!'s seed parent and Q117-3 is a thornless remontant seedling coming from a a seedling of 'Thrive!' known as L56-1 crossed with "Basye's Thornless".  Q220-1 is a seedling of 'Midnight Blue' X "Basye's Thornless".  I am especially hopeful for something interesting coming from the cross of Q220-1 X 'Blue For You'.

We should have the first blooms in about 8 weeks.  I can't wait!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Late 2015 Hulthemia Blooms

We are starting to empty the greenhouse again of all the surviving seedlings.  Here are a few of the late blooms to brighten your December day.

The first one below is of a mini that I hope to release in the next 2-3 years depending on how it does next year outside.  It seems to have good cleanliness and vigor.

The next seedling has changed color as the weather has cooled and now has a nice burnt orange coloration.  This seedling and the seedling following it both have "Basye's Thornless" as a grandparent.  Unfortunately this bloom did not open flat and instead had one of the petals curled back behind the bloom, but you get the sense of it's unusual color.

This next seedling has quite a lot of petals for a descendent of "Basye's Thornless" since singleness is a fairly strong trait.  It's blotch is not that large, but still seems to add interest to the blooms.

Unlike the seedling above, the following seedling has a very large blotch, in fact it has the largest and darkest blotch of this year's batch of seedlings.  Like most of the seedlings that I have raised with these darker blotches, it has a lot of Hulthemia persica baggage: stunted rangy growth and thorns.  Although this seedling is not good enough to name or release, it may be useful as a breeder for future generations.

The next seedling hopefully will have good black spot resistance since one of it's parents is a Will Radler variety.  It seems to be in almost constant bloom.

The final seedling shown below is one of my favorites this year.  It is thornless and has been in constant bloom.  It is also a grandchild of "Basye's Thornless" and seems to have good resistance to powdery mildew.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Old and New Seedlings

Here are some random new and old seedlings that I am liking today. 

From 2010, one of my favorites, a fragrant English style seedling.

And here is one from 2013, a fairly floriferous Hulthemia.

The next one is a new 2015 seedling coming from the seed parent L56-1 (a 'Thrive!' seedling) that is bright red, crossed with 'First Impression'.  I didn't think that I would get a yellow rose from that cross since the red color is so strong.

And, below are two more 2015 seedlings that should be "keepers" for now.

The last seedling is almost thornless and has a nearly black eye.  I'm not sure that "black-eyed" roses would sell very well!  What do you think?!

Monday, October 19, 2015

'Midnight Blue' X Basye's Thornless

A seedling from 2013, coming from a cross of 'Midnight Blue' X Basye's Thornless, this is one of my favorite Basye's Thornless seedlings.  It is fully remontant, nearly thornless, blooming in very large clusters, and produces abundant hips.  I learned this year that the seeds germinate very well.  So of course I had to use it extensively this year as a seed parent.  One of the crosses that I am most hopeful for is a cross of this seedling X 'Blue for You'.  Since there are many hips, I hope to have several seedlings to look at from this cross in about 5 months.  This seedling is also the seedling that I highlighted in Winter, Spring or Fall, that had good fall colors and hips.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

'Tigris' Revisited

It had been quite awhile since I used 'Tigris' in my breeding program, but last year I decided to try something different and cross back onto 'Tigris' one of my better hybrid Hulthemia mini parents.  Of course the mini Hulthemia had to be used as a pollen parent since 'Tigris'' pollen appears to be infertile.

I had forgotten how well 'Tigris' seeds germinate (not that you should necessarily try to use 'Tigris' since you don't get many seeds per hip and the seedlings will not bloom during the first year).  There are about 5 'Tigris' seedlings clumped together in the photo below.  The bloom in the photo is coming from a different seedling.  I hope that the 'Tigris' seedlings will bloom next year.  I have had to wait 3-4 years for some 'Tigris' seedlings to bloom.

The seedling below is of a new 2014 Hulthemia hybrid that is many generations down from 'Tigris'.  Some of the old 'Tigris' baggage can be seen in this seedling.  It is fully remontant, however has somewhat angular and thorny growth, although it does have a larger heat stabile blotch.  

Friday, September 4, 2015

'Knock Out'® Grandchild

The seedling shown below is also a new 2015 seedling and is of a similar coloring as the rose mentioned in the last post.  Looking closely at the photo, you may notice that it even has a few speckles.  Unlike the seedling mentioned in the previous post, this seedling has quite a lot of thorns.  However, I am probably more excited about this seedling as compared to the last, because it has the 'Knock Out'® rose as one of it's grandparents.  'Knock Out'® confers excellent blackspot resistance to many of it's seedlings.  Though this seedling is two generations away from 'Knock Out'®, I am hopeful that some of the improved disease resistance will remain.  I think this seedling would be a great choice to cross with the "Speckled Hulthemia" in the last post.  What do you think?!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Speckled Hulthemia

Over the years, I have seen a few speckled seedlings showing up from time to time.  Here is a brand new one and it is one of my favorites.  It is almost completely thornless and it sets hips!  I'm not sure whether the speckles will be as prominent outside, but since this one will make the "cut" for now, I will be seeing it outside next spring.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Using Unknown Pollen

While on a recent trip I came across a most beautiful and floriferous rose.  It was labeled as the species rose, Rosa arvensis.  A fellow rose breeder from France, Pascal Heitzler, who had used Rosa arvensis extensively, was able to definitively say that the rose was mislabeled, and was definitely not R. arvensis.  Unfortunately, he was not able to identify this amazing rose. 

As seen below, it is a small flowered rose, blooming in very large clusters on a vigorous plant.  The flower buds are light yellow, though the blooms fade to nearly white a few hours after opening.  The foliage is medium green, semi-glossy and appears to be very clean since I did not see any disease on this specimen although there were many other roses in the garden infected with powdery mildew, black spot, and some even had downy mildew on them.

So, being the rose breeder that I am, I needed to see if this rose could be crossed with some of my own seedlings.  I wondered whether the rose was fertile and whether I could manage to get some of it's pollen home with me.

I collected 10 unopened flower buds, in various stages of development (1-2 days from opening).  These were gently wrapped in a moistened paper towel and placed in a zip-lock bag.  Upon arriving home, the zip-lock bag was put in the refrigerator and 2-3 buds were removed each day to gather pollen for drying.  Over the course of the next 4 days I was able to make over 100 crosses onto some of my better seed parents.  Below is the pollen cup that was used (the pollen was labeled with "R. arv" even though it is not the correct name). The three buds in the photos below were the last of the 10 that had been collected.

Five or 6 days after the buds were collected, there was still some apparently viable pollen on the last 3 buds as seen below.

The last photo was taken to demonstrate how small the flower buds were.

Now, one month later, it appears that the pollen was fertile since hips are beginning to form on the selected seed parents.  Although I hope that someone will one day be able to identify this rose, more importantly, I am hopeful that I will have some seedlings from it sprouting in my greenhouse next year.  I wonder whether this rose is remontant, or if it is a once-blooming rose, will I have to wait 2 or 3 years to see the first blooms on it's seedlings?  That is a question that will be answered next year.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

More Random 2015 Seedlings

A handful of seedlings are starting to show themselves as being different from most of the other seedlings.  These 3 will be among the 2015 survivors.

The first seen below is a seedling coming from a cross of 'Singin' in the Rain' X [('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') X 'Julia Child'].  It has good color and nice fragrance.

The next seedling has the same pollen parent, but a different seed parent.  The cross was:   (<{'Halo Today' X ['Geisha' X ('Tobo' X 'Singin' in the Rain')]} X 'First Impression'> X "Basye's Thornless") X [('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') X 'Julia Child'].  The petals are almost translucent, but with reasonable substance, so I am interested to see how it does outside the greenhouse.  I hope that it gets a few more petals as it matures.

The last seedling in this post is from a complex Hulthemia cross and has "Basye's Thornless" as one of the grandparents.  The blotch is taking on a more circular appearance.  It is nearly thornless.  Again, I will be interested to see how it performs outdoors since typically the blotches get larger as the seedlings mature.  God willing, I will post photos of these next year as more mature seedlings when they are growing outside of the greenhouse, so stay tuned!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rose Test Gardens - Parc de la TĂȘte d'Or

Our trip to France this past May to the World Federation of Rose Society's meeting in Lyon, was in a word amazing!  I'm not sure how much of the experience I will get to blog about, but I wanted to at least post something of the rose test garden located within the Parc de la TĂȘte d'Or, in Lyon.  It was unlike any other test garden that I have visited.  Instead of being plain and utilitarian like many test gardens, it was incredibly beautiful with a flowing design.

 There were many very beautiful unnamed test roses, but a few of my favorites are shown below.

A Hulthemia, #166 was one of the winners.  It was very floriferous with clean shiny foliage.  I do not know whose entry it was, but it was quite nice.

Though I don't know when, I know that I will have to go back one day.  My hat is off to the keeper of these gardens for the superb shape that all of the grounds were in - Magnifique!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

More New Seedlings

There are lots of new seedlings.  Here are a few more pics!

Believe it or not, the last photo above is from a cross of 2 of my favorite Hulthemias.  I suspect that the blotch is hidden under the white eye.  I will have to try crossing this one with a normal rose to see if the blotch can be recovered…..