I haven’t had a whole lot of takes with the crosses I’ve undertaken the last couple years, but in view of my best seedlings of late, I have been snatching up the more highly-rated Kordes roses when they hit clearance racks, as well as newer introductions from other houses.
The bees do a pretty good job of showing my general incompetence with pollinating as they have created 100% takes on hips on some of my single flowers where I have some failures. But they don’t seem to be as industrious where fully double blooms require a little more digging/effort. The only hips I’ve had on e.g. Soul Sister were planned crosses, so I cannot rely on bee-success as a measure of fertility on my more double blooms.
Near foolproof female parents appear to be Lemon Fizz, Carefree Beauty, Sunsprite, and Alfred Sisley. CB does not seem to permit high saturation in F1, but does permit colors other than pink to come through, in my experience. Have others gotten high saturation in offspring?
Single flowers: MOTH, Fire Opal, and Yellow Butterfly likewise appear quite female fertile (thank you, bees) though I haven’t yet germinated anything from them. Rainbow K.O. is ridiculously fertile, but I’m on the fence as to how much merit it might have as a parent. (I’m variably moderately impressed and moderately disgusted with this one.)
Dark Desire appears to potentially have some takes this year, and as I said above, in the past I have gotten some strong seedlings from Soul Sister.
Kardinal Kolorscape appears hopelessly sterile, and I’ve had no luck with Carefree Sunshine as a female parent, nor with Limoncello to date (though it’s not in the ground and in a moderately shady holding location at the moment). In my prior garden, Limoncello was my bloomingest fool of a flower. (Haven’t done a side-by-side with CS to compare relative merits yet).
Among the more double flowers, the jury is still out, but I’ve had no takes from any of my planned crosses on: Plum Perfect, Earth Angel, Lavender Crush and Celestial Night. I have yet to try working with Florentina, nor Sunny Sky (for which I have high hopes – Kordes used it for Orangerie).
Would love to hear of other’s experiences results with any of the above. I’ll give my impression of a few of the less common roses below:
-Kardinal K was one I had liked, as a deeper, very healthy, velvety red with beautiful lush dark foliage having every bit as much health as K.O. for me, only “better-dressed”. It does seem susceptible to flower thrips as blooms seem to be burning and shriveling pretty quickly now. I’m considering eliminating this cultivar from my garden. I have not had the opportunity to really compare to MOTH, still in a pot in the holding area.
-Yellow Butterfly isn’t quite as healthy as I hoped having a bit more BS than I would like to see in my no-spray garden, but it does have good flower power. The depth of color in both bloom and foliage is a little insipid for me, however. I am hoping to find that crossing with some healthier, deeper colored cultivars might nonetheless yield something of merit.
- Rainbow K.O.: Like several Radler cultivars, there is something a little bit ratty looking about this one. The foliage lacks a certain refinement, and it was not immune to PM when I first got it. (Possibly due more to stress, however, as it was still in its pot.) I’ve wondered if its parent, rebranded as “Coral K.O.” might be a better prospect, but I’ve never seen it in person.
- Celestial Night is a decent plant so far, but she ain’t in no hurry to rebloom. Moderate resistance to disease and no fragrance. I haven’t noticed hips on her yet.
- Lavender Crush is a real dog in my no-spray garden. By April, the bottom 2/3’s are naked, and half of what remains is spotted. The blooms are browning for me well before opening. (Thrips, I assume. I have seen it look quite nice in photos in other’s gardens.) It is pretty vigorous, and relatively quick to rebloom. (re-blech) It might get SP’ed eventually, even if it is a unique plant that is something I really wanted to work out for me. No successful takes on it.
- I started out pretty underwhelmed with my grafted Julia Child, but now with her feet well established beneath her, she has stopped growing backwards, and is starting to perform. I think I have some takes on her as well.
Anybody have any new favorites? I know I’m hearing a lot about Italian Ice (no personal experience) as it sets lots of big, healthy seeds, but I don’t know much about the actual seedlings that result.