Saturday, May 3, 2014

Interesting, and pretty results from a "what if?" cross

April Mooncrest is my crested seedling combining Ralph Moore's crested work with Griffith Buck's shrub roses. Pookah is a multiflora based polyantha which performs in my conditions much better than most others. It impresses me as a darker pink, more controlled growth, healthier Ballerina which never suffers chlorosis here. What happens when you cross the two? 

It appears to want to climb, which doesn't surprise me. It repeats its flowers, which I would expect as both parents flower fairly continuously here. I figured the foliage would be healthy, coming from two very healthy parents. It is, but it's also wonderfully pigmented. 

When still a rather new seedling, it impressed me with its purple toned foliage, scent, health and vigor.

The bloom is just a double pink, not bad, but not exceptional.

But, when fall began, the whole plant turned bronze, apricot and red tones! Wood and foliage both expressed the most wonderful coloring. 

Now in its second summer, it's starting to show what appears to be climbing growth. It's also beginning to demonstrate some more decorative sepals. It continues producing healthy, beautiful foliage and that's what counts. 


  1. LOVE the color of those leaves and stems, the purple as well as the autumn. I saw this post before, but I had to come back for a second look (。◕‿◕。)

  2. Wow! Lovely foilage! I've been studying your posts on gardenweb & photos on Helpmefind roses for quite some time now and find it really informative. It has long been a dream of mine to attempt rose hybridizing as a part time hobby but for the last few years I must admit that it was mostly restricted to research :-) My first experiment with open pollinated seedlings has just germinated and I am quite excited. Hopefully I can do some pollinations of my own during our coming December holidays. Thank you for sharing al your knowledge, efforts and results so freely -it is much appreciated by newbies such as me.

  3. Thank you, Liezel! I appreciate your kind words and am glad you've found my photos and posts helpful. Congratulations on your batch of seedlings! I've always felt raising those naturally occurring in your garden to learn how where you are is the best method. Why waste your effort generating crosses if you aren't sure how to get them to germinate and grow? You are considering accomplishing some pollinations next month? Where in the Southern Hemisphere are you? Something else you might want to consider. The seedlings with the greatest vigor, hence the strongest root systems, may well make excellent root stocks upon which to bud any new seedlings you may wish to reproduce for sharing or testing. There are a number of plant viruses which can be spread through grafting and budding. Obtaining virus free root stock can be difficult in some cases, but why have to when you theoretically are raising probable virus free seedlings? Chip budding is extremely quick and easy and once you have an established mother plant of what you wish to use for root stocks, you simply root pieces of it and bud what you wish on each one. Perhaps a bit much at this stage to consider, but something you might keep in the back of your mind as you evaluate your seedlings. Good luck with them, have fun and Happy Holidays! Kim

  4. Thanks Kim! I am in the lovely sunny South Africa :-)

    I am currently just waiting for my next flush of roses to open, my baby and toddler to be suitably occupied, and then off to pollination it is. Unfortunately we do not always have access to the vast amounts of OGR's and species roses as some of the other continents but at least we do have some wonderful roses as well. I currently have about 162 different rose varieties (including some older Austins that I was recently able to acquire with some effort) so I am sure that with some experimentation I will be able to find some nice material to work with. Kim, sorry to be off topic but I read on one of your posts that if you would like to experiment with the lavender / brown tones a red/yellow bicolour is needed in its ancestry. Would you mind just clarifying: Must it be a red petal, yellow reverse rose or will a rose just containing red and yellow in its colouring also be appropriate (Or do I look for descendants of a specific red / yellow rose?) I am also considering experimenting to see if I can get interesting colour results from experimenting with Eyes for You (I must still do my research though).

    Thank you for the heads up on probable rootstock! Just this week I noticed RMV on three Glamis Castle bushes (which was very hard to procure!)that I originally discovered at a small roadside nursery. SIGH. Of the seedlings that have already germinated I've noticed one that is quite taller and significantly more vigorous than its relatives. It is still early days but I will keep a close eye on his antics.

    I've tried T budding about 2 years ago but my grafts were not successful ( Probably in part due to the fact that I tried to save a dying rose bush too late into its demise with inappropriate tools and the nearest available rootstock). It was however a good learning process and I will experiment a bit more with the various techniques etc. As they say, practice makes perfect! Thank you for your effort in replying-I will keep observing your efforts and successes. Hope you have a lovely weekend ahead!

  5. Hi Liezel, you're welcome! Sunny South Africa, how lovely! You should have the wonderful Ludwig's Roses which offers quite a few wonderful types. Congratulations on your toddler and baby! I hope you can expose them to rose breeding and gardening so they can become your "garden playmates". My mom threw her passions at the three of us to see which would 'stick', so she could keep us occupied and have playmates. That's how I became the 'gardener'.

    My understanding is, to conjure up the odd colors, the "Coffee Roses", you need a red with yellow reverse type in the mix. But, that is if you wish to go back and replicate the work already done for you by so many breeders. A yellow with red "staining", can create "stained" seedlings. Ralph Moore, the Father of the Modern Miniature Rose, taught me years ago that a strong, bright yellow will help to stabilize a lavender or purple rose. But, if you want to create an "unstained" mauve, that is a lavender which does not turn red, like Paradise, Angel Face and so many others, it requires an unstained yellow. Using one with both red and yellow in the petal, instead of a red front with yellow reverse, will result in seedlings which are also "stained". I hope that makes sense.

  6. I had to split my reply as the site said it was too long, so here is "part two".

    As long as the rose you're using is the red/yellow bicolor, (red front, yellow reverse), it doesn't matter which is used. Personally, I would try selecting the most recent introductions possible. Each decade, the bar is raised in health, vigor, flower production, etc. Using the latest, healthiest versions of the types you desire should help you create the healthiest seedlings possible. I understand the romance of going back to older, famous, historic roses for breeding, but that too often leads to raising seedlings similar to what was raised back when those roses were the rage. It's highly possible, what we can create today is even better than what might have been possible previously. I would simply look for the ones which perform best where you are.

    "Disease resistance" is a relative term. It's been determined there are something like fifteen different races of black spot type fungi world wide. We have five or so, here in the US. For me, in California, to assure you a rose is "black spot resistant" is only valid here. It may be addicted to one (or more) of the strains of the fungi you have there. There is actually little value in disease resistance reports from other climates compared to how that rose might perform in yours. Any information about how it performs as close to where you are as you can find should give you the best idea what to expect from it in your garden.

    Eyes for You is a tremendously seductive rose! Unfortunately the information I've heard is it can sometimes be difficult to get to grow, and many of its seedlings lack its seductive qualities and often run rampant with overly vigorous growth. I'm finding them to be quite healthy and VERY vigorous, with just "OK" flowers. Many have nice scent, but just aren't very special as flowers. I'm also eyeing several of them for potential root stock use.

    How disappointing your Glamis Castle are RMV infected. Though, in your climate, it likely won't make much of a difference in their performance or even their longevity.

    T budding is ideal for stocks whose bark is sufficiently pliable and which are in the suitable condition to be worked. The sap has to be vigorously flowing to enable the bark to lift easily. So, for the right stock at the right stage of growth at the right time of year, T budding is ideal. For home use, Chip Budding is even easier and faster, and can be used with virtually any rose you wish to use for a stock. If you're using a stock with a hard bark or one which shreds easily, such as Banksiae or Fortuniana, Chip Budding is the only way. I just happen to have some photographs of the process I will work into a blog post so you can see first hand how easy it really is. I'm happy you are enjoying the blog and finding it useful. Thank you! I hope you, and yours, enjoy your weekend, too!

  7. Thank you Kim -especially for your advice on the Lavender /brown roses (will try the yellow!) and chip budding! Ludwig's is close by and there was a stage when I visited them on a weekly basis for months on end just to compile lists on how all the different varieties I found interesting grew /compare them with each other (as it is impossible to buy every single one ;-) ) It is a bit more complicated now with my little ones though. Just now I quickly went to collect some Pollen from Easy Does It to introduce to Arctic Ice when the next moment I saw my 3 year old princess meticulously and very carefully cutting off petals from my other roses one after the other with a scissors... So I guess it is quite hard to stop the gardening bug once it bit you! Pity about Eyes for You, it is VERY seductive! Am looking forward to your post on chip budding, thanks a million!

  8. You're welcome Liezel. I posted about Chip Budding so you can have an idea how to do it easily. For commercial use, it's laborious, but for the few we do at home, it's great! I'm glad you have Ludwig's so close by. I've wanted to see his nursery for years. I can completely sympathize with you about your daughter cutting off the flower petals. My old garden was on the edge of a planned community. Residents would wander through enjoying the roses all the time. I was finding my crosses, complete with the tags, on the ground. Once afternoon, while I was out pollinating, a sweet, little old lady wandered through with a handful of my tagged hips! She was so proud of herself as she was "helping me"! I hope once your daughter sees the process and watches the "babies" come up, she will be hooked and your new "playmate"!