Thursday, March 31, 2016

Invasion of the Caterpillars!

One year it was whiteflies, another year it was earwigs, this year we are overrun with caterpillars at the no-spray Sproul Rose Farm.  They are devouring buds and new growth like crazy.  Certain seedlings appear to be more affected than others, I suppose that they are tastier, where all of the developing flower buds are gone!

Since I have not sprayed at all outside of the greenhouse for many years, I am not going to start now.  Instead, I am getting outside morning and evening, picking the caterpillars off the seedlings using tweezers.

No doubt, this last caterpillar has already engorged himself on many developing rose buds, and is on his way up this stem in search of another meal.  I am happy to say that he did not make it to his next meal...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Blooming Inside and Out!

The 2015 seedlings that were potted up and move outside of the greenhouse have started to bloom.  Soon, it will be a riot of color.

Here is one of my favorites so far.  It came from a cross of 'Singin' in the Rain' X [('Marmalade Skies' X 'Baby Love') X 'First Impression'].  Based on the size of the bloom on this young plant, I think that it will be a hybrid tea.  I have 3 seedlings from this cross that I have kept for further evaluation. 

The next seedling is a brand new 2016 seedling that is blooming for the first time today.  It's pollen parent is 'Knock Out' and this is the best blotch so far that I've seen on a direct 'Knock Out' seedling.

As you can see, it's anthers have been removed.  Though perhaps premature, I decided to use it's pollen in a cross today.  I like to move interesting seedlings into breeding quickly in order to save time.  Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Beautiful Spring Foliage

Don't you love fresh new spring foliage?!  There is so much hopefulness in it.  

Seen below, the rose seedlings at the Sproul Rose Farm are about to bloom.  With our "el nino" weather, I have been worrying about the dreaded downy mildew fungus showing up again this year (and some seedlings are showing signs of it).  Hopefully, with the warmer weather that we have been enjoying, the outbreak will be minimal since I do not spray.

Here are some closeups of some of my favorites.  The first is of a rugosa mini coming from L56-1 x Mr. Ralph Moore's "Pink Fragrant Rugosa".

The next is from a complex cross having 'Double Knock Out' as a grandparent on the seed parent side by a cross of a seedling coming from 'Gemini' x 'First Impression' on the pollen parent side. 

Seen below is another favorite seedling that is totally thornless coming from a cross of a 'Darlow's Enigma' Hulthemia seedling by a "Basye's Thornless" Hulthemia seedling.  It has interesting grey-green foliage.

And, lastly, my absolute favorite seedling with regard to foliage (the blooms however are not that exciting) coming from a cross of L56-1 x "Basye's Thornless".

Sunday, March 13, 2016

First Seedling to Bloom 2016

It has begun!  This is the first bloom with many more to come in the next few weeks.  Not sure if I can keep up with it all - but it sure is fun!

I couldn't help trying out the watercolor enhancement in Photoshop.  Someday I may take up painting again.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Blooms and Fruit Coming Soon!

It was just 2 1/2 weeks ago that I noticed the first rose bud forming on the new seedlings.   Now, there are many more forming, and that means that the blooms are not far off.  Soon the sepals on the seedlings below will start to break open and reflex, showing the petals beneath. Will there be an attractive color, a pleasant fragrance?

There are other seedlings blooming and about to bloom.  These are not roses, but are from other seeds that were planted in 2014.  The first below is coming from lilac seeds.  Although I have 7 lilac seedlings, this is the only one that will be blooming this year.  Hopefully, the others will bloom next year.  Wouldn't it be nice if lilacs bloomed throughout the year like roses?

The next seedlings are blueberry seedlings.  I have many more of these, and several are forming fruit for the first time this year.  They were mentioned in a post in 2014 when they were being potted up out of the rose seedlings beds (see Hulthemia Persica Seedlings (Part 3)).

Lastly, in the photo below, there is a seedlings coming from the blueberry variety named "Pink Lemonade".  It has unusual foliage coloration.  It is not developing fruiting flower buds this year, but I will keep it based on it's interesting foliage.  Hopefully, it will produce fruit next year.