This hybridizing-thing,…?

I’ve been an enthusiast since I planted my first rose (a ‘Blue Girl’) in my Zone 2 birthplace. It didn’t survive (obviously, I know now), but the passion it’s colour and scent engendered in me almost forty years ago remains. About twenty years ago I started collecting roses in earnest, looking especially for those known as “good parents”, or at least “parents of good roses”. My collection is grown in containers, and luckily I live in the mildest Canadian climate possible: on Vancouver Island, in Nanaimo, BC. I had intended to begin my cross-pollinations this season, but then I got a “The Big C” diagnosis, and spring-into-summer became drive to Victoria for radiation every weekday and well… I survived, and will thrive!, but I had to satisfy myself with some OP hips this year, and I’ll do it with purpose NEXT YEAR. I’ll list those OP seeds in a reply after this, but for now these are the roses I’m working with. Most are years-old, and a few I’ve had for a couple decades, like Alchymist. Anybody gotten anything interesting from that once-blooming beauty?!

My Roses, 2023:

R. banksiae lutea

Iceberg, Cl.

Leontine Gervais

Belinda’s Dream


Mrs Oakley Fisher

Julia Child

St Tropez

Belinda’s Blush

Etoile de Hollande, Cl.

Munstead Wood

Royal Gold





Pearly Gates (sport of America)


J. P. Connell

Outta the Blue

Stephen’s Big Purple

Night Owl

Lady of Shalott

Antike ‘89

Prairie Princess

New Dawn

Crocus Rose

Martin Frobisher?

Topaz Jewel

Golden Wings

Bull’s Eye


R. glauca


Karl Herbst

Graham Thomas

Alberic Barbier

Don Juan

Lambert Closse

Above and Beyond



Abraham Darby

Benjamin Britten

Charles Darwin

Burgundy Iceberg

Emily Carr?


Double Knockout


Morden Fireglow

Double Delight

Moonlight in Paris



Laura Ford

Work of Art

Coffee Bean

Candy Sunblaze

Apricot Clementine

Sweet Fairy

Sweet Chariot

Photo of Alchymist by Paul Barden

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I think I forgot to list having a fine ‘Conrad Ferdinand Meyer’, from which I collected a couple OP hips, grown near ‘Golden Wings’, ‘Topaz Jewel’ ‘Quadra’ & ‘Double Knockout’.
Also, OP hip/s from
Abraham Darby,
Blanc Double de Coubert,
Golden Wings,
Martin Frobisher?,
J. P. Connell.

I’ll collect a few hips from where my bushes of ‘Mutabilis’ & ‘Mrs Oakley Fisher’ met and mingled, I noticed a nice fat one on my peachy-pink Barbier rambler that came labelled ‘Leontine Gervais’, but having 10cm+ diameter flowers I believe to be mislabeled. I haven’t been over my huge Alchymist yet, but there’s always a few fat orange hips…

Welcome! I’m so sorry for your Big C diagnosis and am delighted you have pulled through and will THRIVE! Congratulations! Personally, raising self set hips from roses in your garden has always been my advice for anyone wishing to begin breeding roses (or really any other type of plant). There is little more frustrating than going to the effort of generating seeds then fouling up raising them because you haven’t yet discovered what methods work best where you are. If you can successfully raise the hips that your garden provided you as ‘throw aways’, you can raise the ones you helped create. This also helps show you what of the roses you already have are good seed parents and of those, whose seed is more easily germinated. Some roses simply will not set seed while others set all manner of seeds yet few, if any of them germinate. Why spend the time and energy pollinating mules when there are more than enough good seed germinators around? And, you may just find something in those “open pollinated” seeds worth keeping and playing further with. Good luck and enjoy!

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Night Owl and Lady of Shalott

Leontine Gervais → sets hips easily, I have a nice seedling I keep an eye on. But no juvinile rebloom or rebloom so far. The seedlings I had, all had some blackspot, but didn’t suffer all that much from it. I think the reblooming ones I had also were the weaker ones that died before they could proove them selves. You should normally get some rebloomers if crossed with a good repeating rose. But the few times I pollinated her, I hadn’t had any.

Julia Child → Good pollen parent on other floribundas (haven’t tried other types) and sets nice hips also. But she would be a better pollen parent than a seed parent I’ve heard.

Iceberg → doesn’t accept Rugosa pollen, I also tried a gallica once, didn’t take either. That was on mature shrubs. The pollen of Iceberg also do not match on Rugosa. I only tried this kind of crossings on her, so more info I cannot give.

New Dawn → very small hips with very few seeds in my experience. Tried floribunda and hybrid tea on this one. Using it as a pollen parent is maybe easier, but all of the few seedlings I had from these crosses were prone to mildew.

Topaz Jewel → tried her as a pollen parent this year on several roses. Not many hips and if any hips forming, they are small in comparison with crossings on the same seed parent.

Golden Wings → tried her this year on several different types of roses (with non-spino species close in the parentage) and they all set nice hips. So she looks very promising as a pollen parent, but will have more info in april.

Rugelda → I really want this one :slight_smile: Kordes used her for many of their best roses. On paper she’d be the ideal parent to mix Rugosa with floribunda and still have a rose that isn’t as rigid and staky as a Rugosa. That is on paper. No experiences with it, but she triggers me. I’ve a wishlist and a list of roses I would want to mix her with. I’m really interested in hearing other breeders experiences with Rugelda also.

Ballerina → I’ve done some crossings on her as a seed parent. She is difficult in my experience. In comparison, Mozart is a far better choice to breed with, I think. The few seedlings I managed to obtain from many pollinated flowers on Ballerina, all were mildew prone.

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Rugelda is quite stiff and prickly (like most modern/rugosa hybrids), but has nice large flowers that do remind one of ‘Peace’. I’m hoping the seeds germinate easily from the rugosa-ancestry. Next year, I’ll do some “deliberate” hip-making on it, for sure. It’s been bullet-proof for me. No disease at all. Really nice clean foliage.

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Good as seed parent:
Graham Thomas
Julia Child

Lady of Shallot
Abraham Darby

I still have a plant from Rugelda that was crossed with The Squire pollen.
I would still be working with Rugelad if it hadn’t been left behind in a move.
Graham Thomas set and germinated seed readily.
Lady of Shallot pollen worked well (she wouldn’t set hips for me).
Interestingly most of the seedlings from her didn’t bloom the first year, but perhaps being crossed with different roses will have different results.

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I forgot Moonlight in Paris sets hips with seeds that will germinate.
Above and Beyond pollen works well, although most seedlings will not bloom first year.

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