We’ve achieved alot since 1900. We got the yellow pigmentation in, repeat flowering, several degrees of thorns, cold hardiness, etc. Stuff that breeders back then were looking for.
And then I got to thinking. Other then David Austin, Ralph Moore and Paul, we aren’t using any of the older roses that are still very good except that they have different flower forms.
It will be intresting to add Lady Mary Fitzwilliam and Madame Caroline Testout back to use. They have very good health, the plants are very long lived. And the older stud hybrid teas seem to offer good qualities aswell, such as Ophelia.
I for one have made a few crosses with Tuscany, Suaveolens, Kazanlik… and if it weren’t for my never ending losing battle to slugs, those seedlings would had turned out really healthy.
It would be quite intresting to cross a dark deeply fragrant hybrid tea, say Mr. Lincoln, with Lady Mary Fitzwilliam. After all… Harry Wheatcraft did say that William Kordes told him that the scent of Crimson Glory came from LMF… which in turn gave us Mr. Lincoln.
Or think of the possibility of crossing Fragrant Cloud with LMF. Or even the more disease resistant but fragrant hybrid teas such as Secret, Friendship or The McCartney Rose.
If I had Ophelia, I would very much so like to cross it with Secret. Secret has amazing disease resistance for a Hybrid Tea and Ophelia had many good qualities that breeder flocked to.
Perhaps I may look into buying either one of those roses and sacrafice one or two of my hard to use roses such as Betty Prior.
But that is too hard for me… Betty Prior is easily my most favorite rose to see blooming in spring, and even if it is very much sterile (I only got one openly pollinated hip this fall, nothing before), it is still a difficult descision.
I guess in the future when I can buy my own house with a big piece of land will I afford such luxuries.