Years to come

I looked over the crosses from this season and realized that what I want most won’t bloom and mature to show me what I want to see for four years. Of course next year I will continue in the vain I have chosen but the reality hitting me like that for my first year of crosses gave me a sense of gravity and surprise I hadn’t taken into context when I started hybridizing. I am not scared away or lost my determination but it sure makes you think. This is tough but rewarding work. Here’s some appreciation and recognition for those of you who have been at it for years. Bravo!

Also, I did not have the containers or time or whatever to plant all my seedlings. I germinated an aquarium full of them in Feb03 and let them sit in a dark, cool area until I could get to them. It is July and they are still there as if in some form of suspended animation. They are doing well in individual styrofoam coffee containers now. None grew more than a couple of inches in the aquarium in all that time. I don’t recommend doing this but it did work and in crunch when it has to be done, figure that it can.

Why won’t you see bloom for four years? Is it because they will be once-bloomers? I’ve gotten the impression that otherwise you will often see bloom the first season of the seedling (or is this also incorrect)?

More than other types of roses, the large flowered climbers and repeat (ramblers) hybrids of various species don’t give an accurate accounting of what the flowering will be like for 4 years. The number of small roses in a panacle could be 3 or 100 but without maturity you really won’t know. The same with the large flowered climbers - individual flowers or sprays? Petal counts increase over the years. I am as well in zone 4 which does not allow a long enough growing season to see results in less time like in the south. I protect all the wood in winter so I don’t have die-back. There just isn’t enough time here in Minnesota to get anymore growth.