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...