Friday, April 22, 2011

Buck Mania

Yesterday was what I consider a very good gardening day.  To start off, we got approximately an inch of much-needed rain here in Manhattan last night.  But even better, just before the rain, I received and planted a box of bands from Heirloom, primarily composed of Griffith Buck cultivars:

For those who are used to Grade 1 potted roses, the bands that you receive from most heirloom specialty growers could be perceived as a disappointment, but let us try and remember that what we are buying is primarily the genetic material.  Bands most often come, as you can see below in small pots and are barely rooted cuttings, but the advantages of having your roses grown on their own roots, ungrafted, makes up all the difference.  As rosarians, we can make the growth happen on our own with enough patience, but we can't manufacture 'Ferdinand Pichard' out of 'Easy Does It' or 'Carefree Spirit'.  Expect for them to take a couple of years for these to make a large bush, but with a little protection, they will get there in time and they certainly have a better chance than a BigBox "bagged rose" with its paraffined canes and clipped roots.  Yuck!

In this shipment, I received a number of mostly Griffith Buck cultivars, all planted into the same bed, including 'El Catala', 'Folksinger', Iowa Belle', 'Queen Bee', and 'Bright Melody'.  I'm particularly interested in growing the latter two bright red or reddish-orange cultivars as I've never seen them in person.  I am also received a 'Wonderstripe' from the Heirloom Roses breeding program, a 'Crested Moss' to add to an OGR bed, and I'm going to give 'Ferdinand Pichard' one more chance.  I've purchased and killed that gentleman before, but I'm such a sucker for striped roses that I certainly think he deserves a second chance.  Or is it a third?  


  1. busy (but fun) weekend ahead of you! I love the roses that come from Heirloom Roses! Those names are all new to me! Going to look them up! oxox, tracie

  2. I have had my eye on Folksing for a little while but have never pulled the trigger. I will look forward to hearing how you like it. I have grown Ferdinand Pichard before and really liked it even though reblooming is a rare thing. I hope you have better luck with it than before.

  3. I like your explanation for buying bands, Professor. It was very clear and helpful, I think. Even and especially the part about genetic material. If I had written the piece, I would have said baby. Both are correct, but I think mine would have been discounted as mush while yours must certainly be thought of as substantive and quite scientific and will change some minds. I like mine, but yours is better. Thanks.


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