Hi Everyone,
I’ve fooled around with the Kordes “alchymist” for a number of years without any noticable results. I believe the rose still have something to contribute to my hybrids. One of the problems for me is the fact that it blooms only once a year. It is not dependable in my climate with only one or two blooms.

Has anyone worked with “Alchymist” and what Were your results.


Hi Chuck,
It may be better to use it as the pollen parent. I mostly use my more tender plants as the pollen parent since most times their hips take too long to ripen. Two years ago my High Voltage hips took forever to ripen and I finally collected them even though they just started turning color in late October.
I had the same problem as your Alchemist with Dublin Bay but one year I was able to pollinate 4 flowers on it. You may try giving Alchemist more winter protection so more of the canes survive the winter and you get a faster rebound in the spring if you want to use it as the seed parent.

Hi Paul,
When I make my crosses, I always try to make the recipical cross.
Alchymist has huge hips with 15 to 20 seeds that germinate well.
Today, which is an unusually worm March day of 0 deg.Celsius.The temperature in my greenhouse is +15 deg. Celsius.
To work with tender roses like Hybrid Teas, floribundas and some shrub roses. I must keep them in pots.
My experience is, in pots roses never reach the statue as if they were planted in the ground, but it’s more dependable
than leaving them to the whims of this changing weather. I’m planning to bring my mothers out of storage towards the
end of April.That should give me a 60 day jump on the normal hybridizing season.

I’m experimenting with a technique I learn from am acquaintance who shares the same problems of short growing seasons.
I’ll plant a few tender roses like Achymist close to the house foundation and build a tent of insulated blankets
used in the oil industry around the roses for the winter protection.

I agree my potted plants don’t grow nearly as well or as large as plants in the ground. Growing the more tender plants in a green house is a necessity of most growers in the short growing season of Zones 2 and 3. Planting the roses next to house should help especially if they are planted on the south side.

I reviewed my reciprocal crosses and the seedlings generally follow the adage that the growth and health are most like the seed parent. I plan to take a good look at the flowers this summer to see if they more closely resemble the pollen parent. Have you noticed this pattern?


I’m curious if you have ever crossed ‘Alchymist’ with ‘Hazeldean’ or ‘Prairie Peace’? If not, would you be willing to do it? I think the results could be spectacular roses.

I used to have ‘Alchymist’ and would pull the canes down and insulate them for winter. One year there were lots of blooms and I pollinated them with ‘Frontenac’. If I remember right, it was hard to get much pollen from A. There were some seedlings I saved for a few years with above average health, but eventually discarded them because of weaker growth. I loved the great colors and petal substance of A. A. is was also a super vigorous grower if I remember right. Hopefully crossed with the right other parent there can be some really special seedlings.

Like David,I think it have a got to offer.
I went back and pulled my files of crosses I’ve made since 2001. In 2005, I did a Morden Sunrise x Alchymist cross, MS
is a poor seed parent and I got only 2 seeds.
When I used Alchymist as the seed parent, I got 245 seeds. I’ll never know how these crosses would’ve fared,because I
lost all of that year’s seedlings.

Paul O. I don’t see how crossing Alchymist with either Hazeldean or Prairie Peace would get me remontancy in the progeny .
I fully understand your reasoning, but using my own yellow seedlings may be a better bet to recovering the reblooming trait.


I wouldn’t be looking for remontancy in, for example, ‘Alchymist’ x ‘Hazeldean’/‘Prairie Peace’ progeny, although theoretically, especially using the latter cultivar, some would be possible (‘Prairie Peace’ can repeat in late summer). Especially in northern climates, repeat flowering, cold hardy rose cultivars are often problematic in this respect. So for these geographical regions it’s very good to have rose cultivars that may be only once blooming but that are very floriferous. After a long, cold winter this is what I look forward to, not rose cultivars that may repeat only sporadically with light bloom during the summer and early fall. Unfortunately, there is virtually no commercial market for once blooming cultivars. I don’t really care though, since I develop them for my own pleasure.

One thing that puzzles me with this rose. Alchymist, according to HMF, was bred in 1956 by Reimer Kordes.
After 60 years they is only one offspring of this rose. A yellow sport discovered Irena Fabjan of Slovenia.
I find this odd the Kordes would go to the trouble to develop this gorgeous plant and not exploit it.
… Or maybe he did and ran into the dead end that David Z. Mentioned.


What about David’s Above & Beyond? Sometimes I like to cross similar roses like that.

If I had the room, I’d be growing Above & Beyond for sure. Love the parentage.

I totally agree with Paul about the (non)importance of remontancy in short summer climates. Luckily, in Finland there seems to be market for once-blooming shrub roses, too. Perhaps because the imported bulk bedding roses are short-lived in the average home garden in this climate. However, I think the value of remontancy in cold climates is that it allows blooming on same year shoots and thus makes the requirement for cane hardiness less strict.
Helsinki, Finland

Hi Jukka!

Do you know if Above and Beyond is available yet in Finland or other colder regions in Europe through Baileys First Editions brand? I think there is a Finnish nursery growing First Editions plants.

Can you tell us how the the two Canadian roses series.
The Explorers and the Parklands perform in your climate?
And also write about the climate, the number of day in the growing season.
How hot it gets there in summer, and the soil type in your general area. Thank you.

The biggest retail nursery (First Editions® kokoelma - Tahvoset) in Finland does sell First Editions and Easy Elegance collections, but unfortunately they don’t list your Above and Beyond yet. I’m so dying to get hold of it! I’ll just have wait until any European mail-order nursery will start selling it.

I’ll just quickly reply for now that those Canadian series have been available in Finland for about 15 years. I have grown only a few myself. The robust rugosa hybrids do very well. The kordesii hybrids and modern floribunda-like ones do variably. Some of them are no more hardy than bulk bedding roses. They tend to be rather weak-growing in our cool summers. (Remember that Helsinki is at the same latitude as Anchorage!) Even William Baffin that I gather is very vigorous in Canada stays grows slowly here. John Davis is relatively vigorous but prone to BS. Lambert Closse is hardy and beautiful but weak. I wonder if these would do better if they were sold budded on vigorous rootstock rather than sold on own roots. I have no experience about the newest releases.