Saturday, July 24, 2010

Up for Adoption?

While I really enjoy breeding roses, one of the hardest things to do is to toss roses I have bred into the compost bin. Sure, I don't mind culling and discarding the ugly ones, the disease magnets, the poor growers... but since I only have a limited space to grow plants, I have to remind myself quite often what color and shape of flower I am aiming for, and stick to those, no matter how pretty, vigorous, or sweet-smelling the ones that are the wrong color or shape might be.

My current goal is to create unique colors (tan, brown, grey, lavender, deep purple, crimson); stripes, or mixes of several shades together, all with a high petal count. So, roses like the one below (although pretty), aren't what I'm looking for.

These are second-year flowers of 'The Generous Gardener' x 'Blue Heaven'

Even though it's not the color I was looking for, the flowers are nice and have a pleasant citrus fragrance. The plant does get a bit of powdery mildew if the weather is extensively cool and wet, but in general it's quite resistant to disease.

So how can I discard a plant like this?

I only have limited space and can't afford to keep everything. So I asked around, and fortunately one of my good friends was interested in "adopting" this rose for her garden. However, I know that she doesn't water her garden much if at all, so I am assuming that she doesn't spray or fertilize either. This will be a real test garden, and I'm very interested to see how well this rose will perform in her yard.

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