Monday, November 17, 2014

My own root, organically grown rose 'Eugene de Beaharnais' rose arrived months ago as a TINY plant, but in a decorative Water Wise Container Garden it shares with a test leek it is growing quite well. The fragrance is jaw dropping. I harvested this bloom after taking the pic and plan to use the pollen on 'Champney's Pink Cluster' tomorrow morning. Since Denver winters hammered mine there to the ground each year I thought that trying it here was reasonable. We'll see how it is three years from now. One intent of mine is to use the pollen often on 'Old Blush' to make the resulting seedlings have more China Rose blood, which could/should make them Florida Friendly. In Denver I ALMOST took fragrances like this for granted, even in alley way roses, but here in Florida this QUALITY of scent is extremely rare. In my earliest days of poring through books about Old Roses at the Denver Botanic Gardens circa1990 I went mental over this rose conceptually since it was one of the very first repeat blooming roses to evolve in Europe due to 'Old Blush' having been planted amongst the once blooming Damasks, Albas and Gallicas grown there for centuries. Due to the rich saturated color and orgasmic scent my hunch has always been that 'Eugene' is a second generation seedling of a bee/wind caused cross of 'Old Blush' and a Gallica. Back then they did not know about controlled breeding, just letting bees etc. do the work. I am starting to be hopeful about this rose for Florida.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

This rose is not happy in Tampa and I understand why...while it is classified as a China, is it a seedling of 'General Jacqueminot' (1853), a Hybrid Perpetual that THRIVED in my Denver yard but that has died here 3 times and that I have never seen in any Florida rose garden....over the years I've lost 2 rare plants of 'Louis XIV' but today bit the bullet and ordered a third plus one each of 'Oklahoma' and "Secret Garden Musk Climber" from Roses Unlimited. They did not have the Graham Stuart Thomas form of Rosa moschata that over the years has died here 3 times both own root and on R. fortuniana. I persist because I want to breed with both as my 'Gold Blush' was bred under glass in Denver from (Rosa moschata X Abraham Darby). I love the idea of boinking 'Old Blush' with 'Louis XIV' to get more China genes in the mix. I want to boink 'Old Blush' with 'Oklahoma' too for the same reason. I love the sultry garnet purple and amazing scent of 'Louis XIV' and miss it and hope I can get this one to live and thrive.

'Louis XIV' has stunning color and fragrance!

A couple of hundred of open-pollinated seeds of 'Seagull' are sown in this mini-Water Wise Container Garden. In years past I got decent germination with no cold stratification, so I'll give it about 6 weeks of outdoor temps, pot up any seedlings that emerge, then put it in a plastic bag in the fridge for 1-2 months for a second wave of seedlings.

Cool old video...that black rose is amazing!