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!