Thank you, each of you, for your thoughts.
Of course, like many of you, I would be glad if a rose I bred was considered by others to be worthy of placing down their hard earned money on it. Taste being as tastes are, some would say yes and others no. But that is not why I am breeding roses.
My wife and I love old garden roses! We love English Roses! We love others of their kind from Meilland, Kordes, Weeks, etc.
In our garden more than half of our roses died, surviving 0-2 winters. Those that did manage to live had to start over, after dying to the ground each winter. This meant really small bushes (compared to being grown in other places) with very few blooms (again, compared to being grown in other places). We dearly missed our English Rose Shrubs loaded with hundreds of blooms in the early summer: anyone who has seen a very large shrub of Graham Thomas or a climber of The Generous Gardener will understand what I mean.
The only bushes that really stood out at the beginning of summer were Hansa and Therese Bugnet. These had been planted on either side of the entrance to the garden, and the impact they had was more than any gardener could wish for. You must understand, the garden we grew roses in was three to four times the size of the house we were living in. The house was small, but the garden large. Thus all the small shrubs, struggling to make it each year, could not manage to make an impact on the whole.
Towards the end I had added Party Hardy, William Baffin, Blanc de double Coulbert, and Martin Frobisher as more cold hardy shrubs. I did this for two reasons:
- hoping that they would fill out and add impact, just as Hansa and Therese Bugnet were doing
- in hopes of starting to breed roses again, with the sole purpose of developing more cold hardy roses in a style we would love.
Cold hardy has added a huge learning curve, as had disease resistant. But it has been as much fun as it has been a challenge. I keep readjusting my approach. Much of those adjustments come from comments I have read from all of you, so thank you!
My preferred method of growing a rose is mixed with perennials. As we are moving next week, we get to start another garden from scratch. We are discussing a potager this time around .We will grow roses of all sizes and shapes, as long as we love them and they can survive where we live. I trust that the rose growing public is a large enough, and diverse enough, lot that someone somewhere may have the same taste as we do. If not, more power to them and happy rose growing!