Saturday, July 17, 2010

Acknowledgement of Others

Whatever special roses that I find along this path, I know that it will only have been through the guidance of others.  Although this is not a complete list, there have been several important guides for me on this journey that I would like to acknowledge in this first "Rose Hybridizing" blog post.

  • Betty Jacobs was the first rose hybridizer that I had the privilege to meet.  Living in the same town as Betty made it easy for me to meet her.  She enjoyed breeding miniature roses.  She gave me my first pointers about how to cross roses.  Following her advice allowed me increased success with my own cross pollinations.  She also encouraged me to meet her mentor in rose breeding, the world famous, Mr. Ralph Moore.

  • Sam Trivitt, a neighbor just around the corner, down our street, was the first "rose nut" that I met.  He was instrumental in introducing me to other rose hybridizers, most importantly to Joe Winchel and Tom Carruth.  Over the years, Sam has also been an invaluable friend to me by helping me to define my goals by being my sounding board.  He also led the group of rose friends from our local rose society that planted all of my rose seeds in 2003 when I wasn't able to due to a fractured leg.  It turns out that several seedling roses from that year have been important intermediate roses along the path, including my first repeat blooming Hulthemia rose.  There will be much more discussion about Hulthemias on this blog - stayed tuned!

  • Joe Winchel, breeder of many well known exhibition roses, was an innovator.  I visited him on several occasions and each time I learned something new from him about rose breeding.  He showed me how to extract rose seeds from the rose hips by using a blender and strainers.  He also proved to me that success was possible without keeping meticulous records (I still prefer keeping records!)  He showed me how to whip bud graft and how to propagate roses from cuttings under mist conditions.  What I liked most about him was his no nonsense, kind attitude and the way that he treated his wife Agnes.  Joe and Agnes loved roses together.

  • Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses taught me to look at roses critically.  From him I learned that roses were not just the flower on top.  I learned that roses had many heritable traits besides the flower that were also important - including plant structure, foliage appearance, health and floriferousness.  He also taught me the importance of not spraying seedling roses to protect them against diseases.  That has been one of the most important lessons that I have learned along this journey.  Tom also gave me my first "break" in roses by helping me to get one of my own seedling roses, 'Honey Dijon', onto the international market.

  • Chris Warner, a very successful rose breeder from England, has helped me tremendously to achieve many of my goals in breeding Hulthemia roses.  With his permission, I was able to use one of his hybrids, 'CHEWtiggle', a non-remontant Hulthemia to produce my first remontant (fully repeat blooming) Hulthemia rose.  That seedling, code named "G34", has been important in the lineage of the generations of Hulthemias that have followed.  Chris, together with his friend Peter James, also allowed me to use a remontant Hulthemia coming from Peter James' breeding, nicknamed "JAMore" to improve the repeat blooming line of Hulthemia roses.

  • Kim Rupert, a fellow amateur rose breeder, provided an important link for me in breeding Hulthemia roses by sending me cuttings of 'Tigris', 'Euphrates', and 'Nigel Hawthorne'.  Unfortunately, the 'Euphrates' cuttings did not "take", however, the uniquely fertile 'Tigris' cuttings did.  Through 'Tigris' I was able to develop another line of repeat blooming Hulthemia roses.

  • My most important acknowledgement is to Mr. Ralph Moore.  Over the years, since first meeting him on Betty Jacobs recommendation, I have spent many days with him in and among his roses, listening to him and learning from him.  He is probably the most visionary rose person that I have ever met.  Mr. Moore developed the first striped roses and the first miniature moss roses, among many other novel type roses.  Mr. Moore was the one who got me hooked on the Hulthemias by showing me his early hybrids.  He was also responsible for giving me the opportunity to produce a second line of remontant Hulthemias through his 'Persian Sunset'.  He had a way of imparting his vision to others.  There are new rose seedlings in my greenhouse even now that were a result of crosses that I made that were inspired through conversations with him.

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