17 June 2011

The mystery, discovery, and joy of breeding roses

All my roses are covered with different colored strings!
Why strings? Because, after nearly a decade, I've become re-interested in rose breeding, and all those little strings are marking developing hips I pollinated over the past couple weeks.

Roses were my first love when I got seriously into gardening and breeding as a teenager, but somehow the romance faded and I focused on other things. The, last year, on a whim, I made a couple crosses between some of my very favorite roses. And once I had seedlings germinating, all the excitement and joy of the relationship when it was new came flooding back, and I knew I had to start crossing them again.
Now I've got this, perhaps the most exciting thing there is in the world. The first bud on a seedling rose. Inside that tiny bud is a flower, never been seen before in the world. I'm hoping, hoping, it will be fragrant  and richly colored, but I don't know. No one knows. This new rose awaits discovery. And next year, I'll have LOTS more mysterious new roses unveiling their unique beauty for the first time before my eyes. Ah, the JOY of rose breeding!

12 comments:

Commonweeder said...

I have been fascinated by the new developments in rose breeding to make them not only beautiful, but disease resistent!

Laurie Brown said...

Oooh! I can't wait to see what the bud develops into!

Is that a Rosa glauca you've got hips developing on there?

College Gardener said...

Sounds like a fascinating hobby indeed. How long does it take you to grow a rose from a seed to when it first flowers? Also, please make sure to post a picture of that bud when it opens, I am excited to see how it turns out... :)

Greensparrow said...

Laurie, yes, Rosa glauca (aka, Rosa rubrifolia). It is difficult to breed with other roses, but I love the foliage, so I'm giving it a try.

College Gardener,
It depends on the roses involved in the cross, but many of them flower when very young. This seedling I germinated just this spring, so it is only a few months old.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

How fun! I can't wait to see what your baby turns out to be. :)

keewee said...

I will be interested to see what you have. I love roses, but only have a couple that have been here since Mike's mother grew them years and years ago. They are not very nice roses and I am going to take them out and find something I really like.

Laurie Brown said...

I think a cross of Rosa glauca with just about anything would be grand! I love the foliage, too.

I've long wanted to try breeding roses; maybe cross 'New Dawn' with 'Alchemyst' to see if one could get a repeat blooming climber of that beauty, or the mini 'Sweet Chariot' with peach colored minis to try and get more colors with that domed form and with fragrance. *sigh* so many projects, so little time!

Greensparrow said...

Try it Laurie! It really takes very little time, and it is a blast.

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