Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Hi everyone,

I hope that everyone will have a good 2011!

I just finished sowing my rose seeds at the end of December. Usually I wait until around the end of January and sow the seeds directly outside, but this time I had to sow them earlier than normal. It's my fault; I didn't harvest the hips before the first hard frost came, and I was afraid that if I just took the hips and put them in the refrigerator for two months, they might rot.

I hope that they will be ok...

The picture above is one of the seedlings that I have high hopes for (I mark those seedlings with pink tags. :) ).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Should Figure Out How To Organize My Photos

It's been raining here in Seattle recently, and typically on these cold rainy days I open up some of my photo files and look my garden pictures. Going through them today I realized that I really need to sort out a way to keep these photos organized and to keep track of my rose breeding record.

I have been taking pictures of my seedlings and keeping records of their size and color in my notes, but I don't have a way yet to combine the two...

But anyhoo, back to the roses. This is the first flower I got in July 2010:

Just looking the pictures I think this is pretty.

In fact, I got several apricot flowers this season.

Next year, I need to come up with a better way to organize everything. I'm not really that good at keeping my records intact but I think I'll have to suck it up and create a database that I can put both the pictures and the data in before I forget.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Parents' Garden was Featured in a Japanese Garden Magazine!

It's been a while since I last posted - it's amazing how fast time goes by! I actually wrote this post at the end of August, so I guess it's about time I put it up. :)


I just got a package from my parents in Japan full of my favorite snacks! It also contained a copy of a well-known Japanese gardening magazine (published by NHK, the Japanese national public TV station). I was very impressed to see that my parents' garden in Japan was featured in the magazine!

To be honest, I was amazed to see how their garden looks when it's in full bloom. I have never seen it myself in person, since they built their current house well after I got married and came to the US.

This is the cover of the magazine. ("Shumi no Engei" [Hobbyist's Garden], August 2010)

The pink rose in the lower right of the picture below was bred by my brother (Spanish Beauty x Shocking Blue). He originally named it after my mother, but when my Dad complained, he changed it to be named after both of them. :)

I'm a bit jealous that his rose was featured in a national magazine before mine!

My parents garden in June 2010. The pink climbing rose is 'Spanish Beauty.'

Here are some other roses that they grow. Left to right, top to bottom: Blue Moon, Julia's Rose, Misty Purple (a Japanese rose), Hot Cocoa, Lavender Pinocchio.

And here are some rose growing tips from my Dad. (You'll have to translate these yourself. :) )

I have never been in their garden when the roses are in full bloom, but from this picture, it looks pretty impressive!

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Have to Say, I Really Like This Color

I've been using 'Edith Holden' for a couple of years for my breeding program, hoping to get an interesting color. So far, though, the germination rate with 'Edith Holden' has been pretty much hit or miss, depending on the cross. As an example, this year the germination rate was extremely poor, and I only got around twelve seedlings total from a couple of crosses I made. :(

The problem that I've encountered with using 'Edith Holden' is that, no matter how high the petal count of the roses I cross with, the results almost always have very few petals. Although many of the seedlings have very interesting colors, I don't feel that I can keep them for later breeding since generally they are only semi-double and have no fragrance. 

This one, however, caught my attention.

This is a cross of 'Benjamin Britten' x 'Edith Holden.' (first flowered in 2010)

It's got a great dark purple color, almost like grape juice.

Like I mentioned, I am currently trying to get fully double flowers with an interesting color, so I would normally discard seedlings that have less than 25 petals on their first flower out of hand. But this one caught my eye!

I think that I will hold on to this one and see what it does for me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yellow Bicolor

This is a different seedling from the same cross as the yellow rose I posted a short time ago. I was actually thinking about getting rid of this plant this year before it flowered because it was hit pretty bad with powdery mildew, and it took a very long time to get its first flower this year.

Last year, it flowered pale yellow like this:

The same flower from the back.

This year, the flower started to take on a pale pink edging.

The subtle edging gives it a little different look than it had last year.

It does fade a bit in strong sun, though.

It's interesting that the color has developed into something much more complicated year over year. I've noticed the same thing happen with different seedlings as well. It's not just the size of the flower, the petal count, or the form that changes - the color goes through some subtle changes in the second year as well.

Because it gets powdery mildew so badly, I'm still not sure if I'm going to keep this seedling. Still, this year the PNW has had a long, cold spring and summer and powdery mildew is all over the garden. To be honest, this seedling is in much better shape than are some of my established garden roses ('Louis XIV' and 'Baron Giraud de l'Ain,' to name a couple).

I will have to think about what to do with this one... :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Proliferation... :(

Here is the second flush of my About Face x Hot Cocoa Seedlings. (First flower picture of 2010)

Despite the ugly proliferation, the plant is looking very healthy and growing very nicely.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want

This is one of my seedlings from a 2008 cross. I have to admit that I wasn't expecting a lavender rose from this cross. If I wanted lavender, I would most likely just cross two lavenders together. In this case, I was just playing around to see if I could get something interesting, maybe an 'odd' color from crossing lavender and tan/orange/yellow roses. The parentage for this one is 'Cotillion' from J&P (aka 'Perfume Perfection') and 'Belle Époque' from Fryer in England.

As you know, 'Belle Époque' has a very interesting tan/russet color. HMF describes it thusly:

Belle Epoque is an unusually coloured Hybrid Tea. The colour is a most curious dark nectarine-bronze on the outside of the petals which contrasts with the lighter shade of golden-bronze on the inside.

I really like the coloring of 'Belle Époque,' and I was hoping that I could get an interesting result from this cross. This is the only seedling I kept from this pairing, and interestingly enough, the result is nothing at all like 'Belle Époque.'

Like 'Cotillion,' the buds cluster in a floribunda style. In fact, it tends to look like a version of 'Cotillion' with more petals. However, I have noticed that the flower color dramatically changes when the temperature is cool. In the picture below, you can see the differences in the color between the flowers - the lighter one is not a spent flower, in actuality the buds started out as same grayish-lavender. There seems to have been an environmental factor that contributed here.

I really like this grayish-lavender color and I wish it would flower like this all the time.

As I mentioned, I'm guessing this color change is caused by a fluctuation in temperature.

Although both 'Cotillion' and 'Belle Époque' are very fragrant roses (when 'Cotillion' is blooming, there is a constant, wonderful, citrus scent drifting on the breeze), this seedling doesn't have much of a scent. That's a disappointment for me, since I like the flower shape so much. Its disease resistance is not excellent, but not horrible, either. I would say that it's similar to its parent plants.

One thing that makes me a bit wary about this seedling is the size of the plant. This is a two-year-old plant and is growing in a two-gallon pot, but it's only about a foot tall and is looking like a mini. The flower diameter is only 2.5 inches or so, so it's a little bigger than miniature roses, but not much. I was hoping this would be a floribunda, not a mini. We'll see...