I met up with Andy Vanable yesterday at the Rhode Island Rose Society annual meeting at which Wendy White was the featured speaker. The group has a fairly large and very active membership for such a small state. Wendy told us about her arrangement with Nor’East/Greenhart and about her own breeding program.
Wendy’s strategy is to target specific traits with specific crosses. Driven by commercial need, her objective is to churn out results fairly quickly, hence she has no interest in hybridizing with species roses. Many of the roses she is working with are proprietary derivitives from Harm Saville’s breeding program, though a number of others are off-the-shelf. She is in the process of building a new greenhouse, and Greenhart has made available virtually all their inventory. One major breeding objective is ground cover roses. Others are hardiness and disease resistance.
Among the many roses she mentioned are two unidentified roses from Peter Harris chosen for disease resistance and hardiness; Jim Sproul’s First Impression for disease resistance and color; Electric Lady for fragrance; Deja Blue for form; and Swan Song and Harm Saville’s Pizzazz.
Swan Song completely defoliates by June here =/
“Swan Song completely defoliates by June”
Apparently the name is apt?
hahah, lovely Robert
Too bad it has such beautiful form and color. It had nice vigor, too, when I grew it. But it just could not keep its leaves on lol. (Im sure there is a pun in there waiting to pop up)
I’m happy I was finally able catch up with you at our meeting. Having someone with similar interest in hybridizing is somewhat of a rarity in this day and age. I learned a lot talking with you, and thank you for the “presents” you left me. I have them under the lights, and they are starting to turn green.
Thanks also, for the kind words about our little Society. Yes, we are small (about 125 members), but we have a very active organization, which is run very efficiently. The membership is also quite diverse, with multiple interests, and the members enthusiastically embrace ALL aspects of the enjoyment of the rose.
Wendy gave an excellent presentation, and included much more about hybridizing than I was led to believe. She seemed to imply to the listeners that most of the attributes she is looking for in her crosses are a “blending” of the parents. The exception to this is the “exhibition” gene, which is either there or it isn’t. She definitely has her “favorite” parents, and uses them in her crosses. I also found it very interesting that the same rose can look and act completely different depending on where it is grown, and what time of year the rose is in bloom.