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.


  1. 'Edith Holden' is one I want to work with this year too. My goal, however, is to make semi-double landscape roses and so I'll be putting it with things like 'Ebb Tide' and some of my wichurana hybrids (maybe even wichurana itself) and 'Monsieur Tillier'. I'd really like to amke dark purple groundcover roses actually. This seedling of yours has great colour. Benjamin Britten hasn't been overly healthy here. How's the health on this one?

  2. Hi Cherokee Hill,

    So far, this seedling is free from both mildew and blackspot. It seems moderately vigorous, so I'm curious how it will turn out.

    Your cross sounds very interesting! I'm sure that you will get some nice colors. I'm especially curious what color you will get from a cross with Ebb Tide.

    I don't grow 'Monsieur Tillier' but it looks like a very good climber. I need a couple of climbing roses to cover one of my fences. Would you recommend this rose as a solid climber?


  3. In Australia, 'Monsier Tillier' (a Tea), is usually grown as a large shrub. It will easily form a large rounded shrub of 8-10ft high and wide. This is one its main attractions for me as it will allow me to work towards smaller, better shrub roses. Not sure it would be much good as a climber but you never know... it is a very twiggy shrub (again, a very attractive trait to me) and it resents being pruned... so better left where it can grow on its own without much in the way of intervention. It grows very nicely on its own roots. Climate permitting, you should look out for 'Paul Noel' ( It is a wichurana hybrid whose pollen parent was 'Monsier Tillier'. Its flowers are very similar to MT but its canes are more suitable to climbing over fences and other such structures. I'd also say the wichurana in it will make it more cold hardy too; not much of an issue here in Australia. It strikes very easily from cuttings and grows strongly on its own roots. 'Paul Transon' is a similar rose with a similar pedigree (, however, neither 'Paul Transon' nor 'Paul Noel' have any listed descendants. There is another that is often confused with these two, whose name escapes me at present.



  4. Hi Simon,

    Thanks for your comment and the info about 'Monsieur Tillier'! I'm sorry that it took me a while to respond...

    I don't actually grow tea roses in my garden at all. I like them very much but one time after I lost a climbing 'Devoniensis,' I gave up on growing them here. Although it's not that cold here in the winter, it seems that the hardiness of tender tea roses here is sort of borderline: one cold snap can kill tender plants. :(

    I hope that you will get a lot of nice seedlings from your 'Edith Holden' cross!

    Thanks very much!

  5. I must say I am quite intrigued with your blog and have so enjoyed my visit here. Breeding roses is a fascinating topic. You may enjoy reading a post I created regarding my rose garden:

    Enjoy! I'll visit again.

  6. Just found your blog. I don't know much about roses, but I hope to learn.

  7. Hi Meredehuit,

    Thanks for your comment! Sorry to take so long to respond.

    I went to your page and looked at all the beautiful roses in your garden. How sweet that they were chosen by your children!

  8. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Hope you enjoyed your visit! :)

  9. Oh Wow. I cannot get enough of your beautiful roses.

  10. This particular rose is very unique. Have not seen such a beautiful one before.

  11. Hi Ann,

    Thanks for your comments! :)

  12. Hi One,

    Thanks for your comment! I'm looking forward to see how this rose grows. Thanks!