Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Friday, December 19, 2014
A few nights ago on The Magnificent Rose on FaceBook I saw a rose that also reminded me of "Fairmount Pink Celsiana"....'St. Nicholas'. When I looked it up on HelpMeFind I saw that it was found as a chance seedling in 1950 vs. being actually "bred". Once I get into my OLD pics from Colorado I will take a good look.
Monday, December 15, 2014
A little over two weeks ago I had a mild stroke and spent 6 days in Tampa General Hospital. I am taking meds, though I am taking less of one as it causes me to speak in a "word salad". I am have no insurance but they tell me they have a plan for everyone. I am staying at home and doing light house and yard work daily.
Friday, November 28, 2014
I took the plunge.....500 35 MM slides scanned by ScanCafe onto DVD for $115, $24.95 for secure shipping. I've selected most of the slides of my youthful art work, now to go through my slides of Colorado roses including those at Fairmount and Riverside cemeteries.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
A few months ago I got an invite from The Iranian Rose Society to join their FB page and I did. They don't post often and the text is almost always Iranian, but some of the pics are intriguing in that they remind me of certain Fairmount Cemetery roses, like this one.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
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.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
I obsessed some more about 'Bobbie James' Rambling Rose this weekend......most of my books say this foundling of Graham Stuart Thomas's from 1961 is a Multiflora...most sites say Wichurana (which I hope is the case as Wichs do well for me in Tampa). MANY references to glossy foliage plus videos showing that make me hopeful as I've never seen a glossy Multiflora. I've been gone from Denver 12 years now and just can't remember how the leaves of my specimen there looked. Twice I thought I found an English nursery that would ship me one...nope. So I will just be content to experiment with the OP hips of Lee Sherman's plant in her VERY eclectic collection of roses in Albuquerque that she is sending me.....if it really is a Wichurana then it is very easy to imagine some of the seedlings being happy in Florida plus possibly worthy in and of themselves without further breeding. But I am still wired to think about crossing either Bobbie or some seedlings with Teas, Chinas and Tea-Noisettes and more.....I can just imagine using pollen from yellows like 'Graham Thomas' or 'Reve d'Or' or 'Alister Stella Gray' or 'Crepuscule'! So much fun to suddenly have a whole new angle to try in my effort to breed Climbers and Ramblers for Florida! A Florida-friendly yellow 'Bobbie James' would be breathtaking!
Friday, October 24, 2014
My 'Bobbie James' was very happy in my Denver yard as it is in my Albuquerque rose friend Lee Sherman's yard. A while ago I called to ask her if she could mail me 20 of the tiny open pollinated hips for me to experiment with here in Tampa...I thought it'd be a long shot here as I've always thought of it as a multiflora ramber (here in Tampa over the years I've just seen "Seagull' and 'Pink Clouds' do well here). But HMF says it is a hybrid Wichurana, which all do well for me here. I LOVE the hydrangea-like globular clusters and am already fantasizing about crossing any seedlings I get with Teas and Chinas to get remontant Ramblers for Florida! Maybe I'll even just buy a 'Bobbie James'! woo hoo!
Sunday, October 12, 2014
This repeat blooming Rambler is just an open pollinated seedling of 'Blush Noisette' that I selected in 2004. Almost always in bloom, sharp/sweet Multiflora perfume, no bug or disease issues,sets some hips...I've never liked how many blooms don't finish cleanly. But it gets zero care beyond run off from nearby veggie container gardens, so I will train it back up onto the rebar and begin using it as a seed parent along with 'Seagull' and 'Old Blush'. Sometimes opens light pink, other times near white. It is SO reliable I'd be a fool to not breed with it! I especially like the long clusters that form now and then. I will root a few clones to share and grow elsewhere in my yard as breeders. I will be curious to see how it does if actually cared for! Ramblers, once blooming or not, are a very rare sight in Florida.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Small bloom on a small young plant but OH that perfume! One of my earliest Old Rose loves in Denver...nice to have one in a pot here in Tampa! The classic Damasky/OGR scent is very uncommon in central Florida so this is a real treat. I hope to cross it with 'Old Blush'.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Andy Firk since you have been following Luther Burbank's food crop breeding work lately, I want you to see a rose he bred that for years Joyce Demitts and I have felt is a very likely ID for the iconic "Pink Cracker Rose" that in the 70s and 80s was a common sight in Tampa. It is called 'Burbank' but for decades there has been confusion between it and 'Santa Rosa' which came from the same hip from the same cross of (Bon Silene X Hermosa?). When I showed Joyce her first ever "Pink Cracker Rose" she immediately pointed out traits of 'Bon Silene' in it.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
They are just babies in the east bed, but the 7 plants of 'Old Blush' and 1 plant of 'Crepuscule' are giving me exciting ideas of crosses like (Old Blush X Crepuscule), (Crepuscule X Old Blush) plus (Seagull X Old Blush) and (Seagull X Crepuscule). Also planned is (Champney's Pink Cluster X Don Juan) and ('Teasing Georgia X Crepuscule). I love the rich apricot-tangerine color of 'Crepuscule'!
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Years ago, before the long term drought and watering restrictions decimated my collection of 170 roses, I had this stunning climber trained across my front entry arbor. I planted a new one today at the base of a long-naked rebar in the east bed now home to 7 plants of 'Old Blush'. I plan on using its pollen on 'Seagull' and 'Old Blush' plus try it as a seed parent pollinated by those two plus "Barfield White Climber" and Rosa laevigata (Cherokee Rose). LOVE the color!
Saturday, September 13, 2014
There is a fascinating discussion on Chez Vibert Old Roses Forum (many members in deeply drought stricken California) that makes SO MUCH sense....there seems to be a correlation between a rose's height, and the depth of its roots, and subsequent drought tolerance. The 'Mermaid' that consumed my yard was 45 feet long...would have been that tall if trained straight up...roots going down 45 feet would explain it not being affected by the drought at all. 'Seagull', "Barfield White Climber", 'Francois Juranville' all make 20 foot canes...drought has no affect on them. Wild R. laevigata here in Florida can go 60 feet up long needle pines...do the roots go down 60 feet? Indestructible "Pink Cracker Rose" can be a 10-12 foot pillar...roots go down that far? Fortuniana advocates tout as a virtue its roots being a 3 INCH deep mat at the surface...one with a straight face brags that his hundreds of roses on campus (exempt from the restrictions the rest of us have to abide by) ONLY get 7 gallons per bush PER DAY every day! This also makes me think of towering drought tolerant monsters in Denver like "Mr. Nash", 'Seagull', 'Great Western', 'American Pillar', 'Blaze', 'Dr. Van Fleet', 'New Dawn', "Victorian Memory",' Zephirine Drouhin',' Francis E. Lester', 'Lawrence Johnston'. 'Ghislaine de Feligonde' and more that thrive in that very dry climate. I REALLY this we are onto something and will keep it in mind as I breed drought tolerant roses for Florida.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Veronica Merriman thank you SO much for that surprise package from you that the mail man just brought me! OP rose hips to playfully germinate (I need to look up 'Penny Lane') plus those two sparkly trippy throw pillows you made for my Space Couch in my Gay Trailer Trash On Acid Living Room!
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Kim Rupert in California suggests that I "chip bud" desired roses onto rooted growing cuttings of the seemingly indestructible "Barfield White Climber" even though I've always been an "own root" man. Could not hurt to try!
Saturday, September 6, 2014
I am very excited about my decision to begin some serious breeding here using 'Old Blush' as a seed parent plus to playfully germinate open-pollinated seeds as this rose is tough and reliable in Florida. I am steadily formalizing my front yard and had already decided to make the revamp of the east driveway bed be based on linear plantings of red pentas and lavender ruellia. So I've decided to plant all eight plants of 'Old Blush' coming from both Mark Chamblee Roses and The Antique Rose Emporium in a row down the middle of the full length of the bed. This will look great and afford me easy access to each bush.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Today I placed an order with Mark Chamblee Roses, whom I've dealt with happily since the early 1990s both here and in Denver...it includes 7 plants of 'Old Blush' that I will add to the one coming from Mike Shoup and The Antique Rose Emporium. They will be planted in a continuous hedge. Why so many? It is almost as tough as the iconic Mystery Rose of central Florida "Pink Cracker Rose, which is VERY sterile as both Mom and Dad, but is a very abundant hip setter plus more mannerly in growth (PCR can become a 10 foot pillar rose quickly). I will use 'Old Blush' as a seed parent boinked by some modern roses and some OGRs, plus will playfully sprout open pollinated seeds as was done when it first reached Europe from China circa 1752. I ESPECIALLY want to pollinate it with four VERY tough in Florida climbers/ramblers...'Seagull', 'Francois Juranville', "Barfield White Climber" and "Cherokee Rose" (Rosa laevigata). Drought and severe watering restrictions have been the norm in Florida for years, which has made roses even MORE rarely seen in landscapes and has deeply affected my own growing and breeding of roses, including the ethics of water use. I am VERY excited about this decision to add 'Old Blush' to 'Seagull' as my main seed parent!
'Mme. Antoine Mari' continues to send out lush new growth after that first ever hard cut back and feedings, a few waterings, plus a few good rain. The west bed she has thrived in for years (she is in a buried 4 gallon Water Wise Container Garden) is next to my neighbor's hot concrete driveway and is close to the asphalt street...she truly IS a drought tolerant Tea Rose!
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Releasing a few tens of thousands of these tiny wasps in the spring of 2003 in my front and back yards has made aphids a non-issue here both on my roses and my food crops ever since. The females lay their eggs inside adult aphids, then the babies hatch and eat their way out. Like mosquitoes, the females need a protein meal to lay eggs, but of pollen vs. blood, especially the pollen of umbillifers like dill, anise, cilantro or cumin. Year after year I have JUST enough aphids, generally on cow peas, to sustain a healthy population of lady bugs and lace wings to further control aphids. Growing roses here as a monoculture, and spraying pesticides, would eliminate this balance that effortlessly controls pests FOR me.
Monday, August 25, 2014
My drought tolerant 'Mme. Antoine Mari' Tea Rose is regrowing lushly after her first ever hard pruning followed by a rich feeding (fish emulsion, chicken poop, trace elements, animal feed grade urea) deeply watered in. By winter she should be blooming beautifully.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I just placed an order to the good folks at The Antique Rose Emporium to replace roses over the years now that I've made peace with using more water than the crazy low amounts I normally use (my water use bills often are just $4 to $10). I lost my original plant of my 'Gainesville Garnet' that I bred here in 2003 to a Paper Mulberry sucker and they are sending me two for free. (see link below). I will use most as pollen parents on 'Seagull' each spring. I ordered one of each except for two 'Old Blush' as it is a good hip setter and I want to boink it with modern pollens as it is ALMOST as tough as "Pink Cracker Rose" and dates to the year 1752. Old Blush, Graham Thomas, Souvenir de la Malmaison, Buff Beauty, General Jacqueminot (LONG shot for Tampa!), Souvenir de Mme. Leonie Viennot, Autumn Damask, Lamarque, Duchesse de Brabant, Albertine, Baronne Prevost, C.F. Meyer, Jaune Desprez, Reve d'Or. Sadly, they are out of Crepuscule. I will love having them and my own 'Gainesville Garnet' in my landscape and life again!
Monday, August 18, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Might be a long shot but I have stuck cuttings of "Spice" and "Pink Cracker Rose" in the Water Wise Container Garden I made from a concrete mixing tub that supported Plantago major last winter and spring. (I think I see HUNDREDS of teensy seedlings coming up). The soil is a spongy rich compost with a fair amount of Publix clay cat litter worked in so I will shield it from heavy rains. This is not an ideal time to root rose cuttings in Tampa but I have tons to work plus enjoy experimenting. IF any root I should know for sure by early October.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
I've been proud and pleased to know Norma Lopez Bean since the early 90s. Her roses collection was breathtaking and defied the dogma of "you have to spray, you have to bud to Fortuniana to grow roses in Florida". Here is a pic I took of her right before she moved out of her house about a year ago...timeless beauty!
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Today I harvested a plump hip of (Don Juan X "Spice") and will extract and sow the seeds shortly. All the 4 inch pots of hybrids are now soaked, drained, each tucked into a clear produce bag and are back in a tray at the bottom of my fridge. Hopefully I'll see many germinations this fall.
Monday, June 23, 2014
I got approx. 15 big fat seeds from the hip of my dream cross (Don Juan X Rosa gigantea) now sown in a 4 inch pot, soaking in rain water to then drain, go into a clear produce bag then 2-3 months in the fridge for germination!!! My hope is vigorous, Florida-friendly climbers, repeat bloom unlikely but would be nice!
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Monday, June 2, 2014
TOTAL RAGE here....the damned Lubber grasshoppers crawled up my 'Teasing Georgia' climbing rose, ignored all the open pollinated hips and chewed off one of just two hybrid hips of (Teasing Georgia X Rosa gigantea)!!!! I massaged SUPER hot sauce onto the surviving hip and all the hybrid hips on 'Don Juan' in hopes of saving them. Rough Lubbers year for many and the application of Nolo Bait I did 12 years ago finally stopped working this season, likely due the protozoa Nosema locustae no having host grasshoppers to replicate in. What makes me SO ANGRY is that Rosa gigantea pollen is NOT easy to get and available just once a year each spring, so I can't repeat the pollination until NEXT spring! Why couldn't they have eaten any of the many open pollinated hips?
Friday, May 16, 2014
I did not get into Old Roses until 1989 in Denver, but I've loved central Florida's iconic "Pink Cracker Rose" since my college days in the mid 70s when it was a common sight in older Tampa neighborhoods, like Hyde Park, or Seminole Heights where I rented....less than a block from me was a HUGE one trained into a small, mushroom-shaped tree. It rarely stops blooming, is obviously unaffected by root knot nematodes, bugs, or foliar diseases, and thrives in both drought and wet hurricaney summers. My ONLY complaint is its sterility...it has NEVER set a hybrid hip for me, and just twice has its pollen been accepted...once by 'Graham Thomas' in Denver, and by 'Seagull' last year. And in all these years I've seen it set maybe a dozen open-pollinated hips, and all on the massive hedge of it on Davis Islands by a hotel on Adalia Street. My plant dates to 1999 and has never set hips, so I was stunned to see this today! Over the years I've bought every pink China Rose I could find, and after obsessing all this time my best guess remains 'Burbank', which was the immediate reaction of Joyce Demits when I showed her one some years ago.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
For the first time ever I gave my "JoAn's Pink Perpetual" from Denver's Fairmount Cemetery it's first ever hard cut back and feeding some weeks ago and it has begun re-blooming. I picked one bloom and later today will be using the pollen on 'Seagull'. The fragrance is incredible. During one of Fred Boutin's visits to me in Denver the original plant at the cemetery was in bloom and he agreed with my best guess as to the real ID: 'Champion of the World'. It re-blooms quite well here in Tampa, grown organically and own root in an 18 gallon Water Wise Container Garden.
Friday, May 2, 2014
Rain eased up enough for me to use my torso as an umbrella so I could do a very exciting but unplanned rose pollination: (Champney's Pink Cluster X Rose de Rescht). I need a cigarette! Imagine if the luscious scents blend in some of the seedlings!
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Since the early 90s I've grown in landscape clients' gardens and now my own a great many rose varieties that a Florida rosarian has been telling me and others ever since then that simply can't grow here, with ego-based dogma replacing the spirit of inquiry and trial and error that can make being a rosarian so much fun. I stopped attending his meetings 15 years ago as there was no dialogue, just his "Moses on the Mount" pronouncements, even when members would show up with entire bouquets of what he said can't grow here, or his insistence to me and others that there is no such thing as the iconic "Pink Cracker Rose" even though he mistook a 90 foot hedge of on the campus as 'Old Blush'! Stunning contrast to brilliant yet humble rosarians I know/knew like Miriam Wilkins, Fred Boutin, William Grant, Ralph Moore, Barbara Oliva, Anita Clevenger, Pam Greenewald and others who are insatiably curious and eager to learn.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Roses have their own wisdom, and I love it when they don't know when "experts" announce that they "can't grow" in such-and-such a place, like the full collection of own root, organically grown Teas, Chinas, Noisettes and Poly-Teas I had in my Zone 5 Denver yard, or the Hybrid Perpetuals and Bourbons I love in my Tampa yard that "can't grow here at all, or that MUST be budded to Fortuniana root stock and drenched with obscene amounts of water and pesticides". I am getting VERY spoiled by daily FRAGRANT blooms on my 'La Reine', a Hybrid Perpetual from the year 1842. It has never set hips for me but I use the pollen to do crosses. Lovely form, color and perfume!
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
I just boinked a bud of my red 'Don Juan' with pollen from Jill Perry's incredible species climber Rosa gigantea...fingers crossed it gets pregnant! It is easy for me to imagine some of the seedlings proving to be repeat blooming climbers, likely pink though red would be wonderful!
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Saturday, March 22, 2014
One of the very few roses I have on R. fortuniana is my 'Marechal Niel', which I think is about 10 years old now. The midday light was harsh, I'll try again at dusk and dawn. Bummer it refuses to be a breeder for me either as Mom or Dad...makes me wonder how 'Diamond Jubilee' was bred at the end of WWII!
Friday, March 14, 2014
I bred this rose in Denver the summer of 1998.....(General Jacqueminot X Stephen's Big Purple). It was chosen by Colorado Plant Select and is being retailed in that state and at least Wyoming at several nurseries, and can be gotten mail order from High Country Roses. It does SO well in Denver I suspect it would fail here but will ask for a plant to trial here. Wonderful perfume and very remontant even in Denver's short growing season.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
I've got buds on my "Jo An's Pink Perpetual" from Denver's Fairmount Cemetery that has JUST barely refoliated...I will sacrifice those in a hard cut back and feeding, try to root what canes I remove, then hope for a lush regrowth and heavier bloom in 6-8 weeks. Pics are from previous years. When Fred Boutin visited the original bush at the cemetery some years before I came back home to Tampa from Denver in 2002, he had the same immediate reaction that I'd had for years....a likely possible ID is 'Champion of the World'. I've been growing it for several years now in an 18 gallon Water Wise Container Garden on the north side of my house outside my office front window for maximum winter chill and minimal heating by the harsh south Tampa winter sun. Pics are from previous years. I'll store in the fridge some pollen to boink 'Seagull' with this April. In Denver the bush was MUCH taller, vase-shaped, blooms quite a bit bigger, gave a decent autumn flush in that cruelly short growing season, and set just a few hips. I don't recall ever trying to breed with it. A few years before I left Denver I made a clone for that yard and loved it....fast grower.
Monday, March 10, 2014
After months of him-hawing I today FINALLY chose where to plant my remaining cold climate roses...some go into large container gardens, some go into the ground, all in north facing locales that will spare them the harsh south sun of winter here in Tampa. They include 'Great Western', 'Albertine', 'Louise Odier', 'La Reine', 'New Dawn', 'Ballerina' and 'Conrad Ferdinand Meyer'.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014
For the first time in the 12 years I've had "Barfield White Climber" last year it set a fair number of hips...maybe 60-70. Seedlings popped up QUICKLY with zero chill time in the fridge. I now have a 3 inch tall seedling topped by a bud!! Will be fun to see if maybe it is a self, or if a bee brought pollen from the nearby 'Seagull', 'Mme. Antoine Mari', "Maggie" or 'Abraham Darby'. Will be interesting to if it too is a rampant prickle-free climber.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
After months of himming and hawwing I today planted my own root 'Oklahoma' and 'Eugene de Beauharnais' in large pots set into the area I am redoing in front of my office instead of in a small bed in the main front garden. 'Oklahoma' is my favorite red rose of all time and I hope to use the pollen, along with that from 'Don Juan', on both 'Seagull' and "Barfield White Rambler" this April.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
My "Fairmount Red" rose has not bloomed in three years, due I feel to those last two MILD winters where I did not have to cover even basil or tomatoes. I discovered it in Denver in 1990, and made a clone for my yard there from a runner before the mowing crews nuked it. In Colorado it is a VERY cold hardy once bloomer, so I am surprised that my Tampa plant has survived at all for seven years I think. Last fall I moved it's large pot close to my north facing office wall to shade it from the fierce south sun of winter, plus to benefit whatever north winds I might get here in south Tampa. It also now gets run off from the roof. Today I gave it its first ever hard cut back...took it from well over 6 feet in that large tree pot down to 3 feet, gave it a few gallons of my "nutrient soup", 2 handfuls of Epsom salts, followed by a few gallons of rain water. Once I plant maybe a dozen glad bulbs in there I'm adding about 6 inches of mulch. Fingers crossed it blooms, in part because I miss those lovely flowers, and because I'd love to use the pollen on both 'Seagull' and "Barfield White Climber". I stuck maybe 15 cuttings in a big cookie jug with a few inches of damp coarse builder's sand on the bottom. Here, as in Denver, it is quite red ONLY when very hungry...well fed it is more of a saturated magenta. I think it can still be ordered from High Country Roses in Denver
I've done something very similar for 20 years now though I DO add purchased microbes too, like those in Primal Defense tablets for people.....all 14 were derived from healthy soil. Did wonders for my Denver and Tampa clients' roses as a one time foliar spray to inoculate the bushes and soil beneath them.