Pix of a few of my 2024 seedlings



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Those are beautiful! Do they have fragrance? Thank you for sharing your knowledge in your posts. I’ve been doing this hobby 9 years, but ALL guidance is SO appreciated. (One season I grew 125 seedlings and managed to kill most of them with my ignorance.)

I do not breed for fragrance. People SAY they value fragrance but the percent of the time they smell a rose is low. What ultimately gives more pleasure are hybrid-tea form on an attractive, disease-resistant plant. That’s what I breed for.

Each to their own, the reason roses are king to me is because of their fragrance. I might be breeding Dahlias if they had scent. I understand the average buyer doesn’t care nearly as much though.

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Maybe not as much as you and I. But in any case, I notice that many visitors of Rose Shows, official Rose Gardens, Garden Centers, etc. repeatedly touch roses with their noses and sniff them. From this fact I conclude that people generally like and appreciate the scent of roses.

Maybe the average buyer doesn’t, but most rose enthusiasts do.

One thing I’m aware of as an amateur breeder that can only manage a small number of seedlings per year is that if one of my seedlings will ever reach the market it will most likely be through small, niche nurseries and it will probably be a niche product.

I can’t compete with commercial breeders. I can’t physically handle more than a couple hundred seedlings per year. Austin, Meilland, Kordes and other big breeders grow hundreds of thousands seedlings every single year: they will have better seedlings than I do if I just do the same crosses they do. And on top of that, they have a marketing budget and a brand name I do not have.

This is to say that maybe fragrance is not that relevant for the big public, but it may be what tells your variety apart from the hundreds of new ones introduced every single year.

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The more roses I grow from large-scale commercial breeders, the less I believe that their numbers of seedlings and selection prowess are actually responsible for their success, and the more I believe that their commercial dominance is due mostly to market access and name/brand recognition (and sales numbers, considering that a large percentage of rose growers probably live in regions where it is much less challenging to grow roses than my own, and are therefore more easily satisfied).

That doesn’t change the reality that they will outcompete small-scale breeders practically every time, of course, but it is a sad spotlight on the fact that some very good roses for many areas where traditionally “commercial” roses cannot grow well will likely go unpromoted, and their raisers will likewise go unrewarded for their efforts to create them. Meanwhile, poorly adapted roses will be promoted heavily and will sell very well (at first). No worries, though: the failures will be replaced by “improved” replacements from the same commercial predators next year.

Breeding for maximum profit is a very different venture from breeding for maximum human/experiential value, and the inconvenient truth is that these two approaches only rarely intersect strongly. When they do, commercial interests will practically always be privileged over others.

Stefan

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It is befuddling to me how many not-good roses get introduced by the majors. You’d think they’d want to introduce great stuff. I mean they aren’t doing 400,000 seedlings a year as I believe Meilliand does if it wants to introduce crap. I dunno. I’m not at all sure whether the majors will introduce my stuff.

@mnemko “the majors” have NO incentive to introduce any of our stuff. Every one of them have heavy investments in R&D as well as established sources they go back to time and again. They already own the patents or have beneficial arrangements already in place so why add a small source? Just think, the stuff you think isn’t “great”, is very likely the best they had to choose from. A friend has submitted stuff to Certified for many years, I mean TONNAGE, with a few introductions. The stuff they ignore would make you cry, but that’s they way it works.