Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Largest Blotch - A Deadend?

Hybridizing this year began in earnest about 2 weeks ago.  As mentioned in the last post, this is also the time that I first get to see last year's survivors blooming outside for the first time.  With the Hulthemias, there are many surprises.  The blotches are typically larger and darker, and the growth pattern tends to change.  I also get the chance to see how they fare to bugs and diseases.  Thrips love some blooms, but leave others alone.  The same is true for the curculio beetle.  Again, this year we have had just the right amount of downy mildew - no seedling deaths, but significant defoliation in those seedlings that are highly susceptible. 

One seedling (I discussed this seedling in an earlier post last year in Smooth Hulthemias), keeps surprising me.  It appears to be thornless (or nearly so), it has very good disease resistance, and to date, it has the largest blotch that I have ever seen in terms of percent of the length of the petal that the blotch covers.  So far, I have collected pollen from about 6 or 7 blooms, and wouldn't you know it - it appears to be pollen sterile (no pollen is releasing from the dried anthers).  I am now trying to pollinate it with other Hulthemias to see if it will set hips.  I sure hope this isn't a "dead-end".

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hulthemias - First Blooms Outside

The 2011 seedlings are just now blooming for the first time outside of the greenhouse.  There are many changes that are evident.  In the Hulthemias, color saturation, blotch size (larger) and vigor are more noticeable on the more mature seedlings when exposed to full sunlight conditions.  The seedling shown below is one of my favorites so far.  Although both photos were taken with my iPhone, they were taken under very different lighting conditions.  The first photo was taken under lower light conditions just before sunset, while the second photo was taken in the morning.  The color representation in the second photo with the single bloom is more characteristic of the real thing.  The blooms are a golden yellow with a burgundy blotch.  I will follow this post up in the next few days with another post showing several of the other seedlings from 2011 also blooming for the first time outside.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hulthemias with Form

Although my favorite Hulthemias have 10 to 15 petals, I am liking some of the ones that have enough petals to provide the classic exhibition form as seen in those shown below.  The first seedling has 'Singin' in the Rain' as the seed parent, while the second has 'Pearl Sanford' and the third 'Cal Poly'.  The 'Singin' in the Rain' seedling's blotch is somewhat smaller, so is not ideal, however in the other two, the blotch seems to offer some additional interest.  What do you think?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ralph S. Moore Rose Garden and Friends of Sequoia

Today a group of us, friends of Mr. Ralph Moore (we call ourselves "Friends of Sequoia"), met today in Visalia at the rose garden that was built and dedicated in honor of Mr. Moore.  We were there today to reminisce about him and the times that we spent with him.  We were there also to give thanks to the Master Gardeners who have worked hard to maintain the garden in its beautiful condition and to hear Burling Leong speak about chip budding and Kim Rupert speak about his "burrito" method for rooting hardwood cuttings.  It was a beautiful day to get together.

While there today, I thought back to the time that I visited the garden the year after Mr. Moore passed away.  I was in Visalia for a meeting and couldn't miss visiting his garden.  As I was walking around the garden taking photos, I started noticing clothing drying on the fencing and on some of the bricks around the garden.  In the photo below, you can see some white clothing just to the right of the garden bench.  As I moved in closer to get photographs of some of Mr. Moore's roses, a homeless man, looking embarrassed, came up to me and apologized as he picked up his drying underwear that he had just washed. With the clothing gone, I then took the photo of 'Ralph's Creeper' as seen below.

Later, after the homeless man left, 3 young boys, presumably part of a wedding gathering, came over to look at the roses.  They seemed to enjoy the garden as much as I did.

When I first saw the homeless man using the garden to dry his clothes, I initially had a feeling of anger, as though he was defacing Mr. Moore's garden.  Thinking further back though I remembered a time that I had spent with Mr. Moore and Chris Warner at the same garden.  As I thought more about it, the contrasts of the homeless man using the warmth of the garden to dry his clothes, and the young boys enjoying the roses that they had stumbled upon, I decided that Mr. Moore would have gotten a real kick out of it all.