Sunday, October 2, 2011

Growing Your Own

Connie, of Hartwood Roses, recently published a blog about growing roses from seed, illustrating a particularly beautiful soft yellow rose seedling that she grew and continues to grow.  An open-pollinated seedling from a neighbor's rose hips, she's so impressed by its disease resistant foliage and non-fading color that she is planning to evaluate it for commercial introduction by her nursery.

In honor and imitation of Connie's post, I'll show you a rose that I grew from seed several years ago and continue to grow.  This semi-double pink rose, from an open-pollinated hip of Carefree Beauty, keeps a place in my garden because of the delicate and perfect pink shadings of the bloom.  It grows about 3 feet tall, not as vigorously as Carefree Beauty, but it does retain that blackspot-free foliage of its mother.  This rose is remonant, repeating sparsely about 3 times a year, moderately scented, and seems to be fully hardy in Zone 5B without protection.  I'm not fooling myself that it is worthy of commercial introduction, but at the same time, I also can't scrub it out of my garden.  That delicate shell-pink is just too stunning to wipe from the earth now. 

I don't think there's a rose-grower out there who hasn't tried, once or twice or three times, to grow a new rose of their own from the hips that proliferate throughout their gardens.  I've obviously fallen into the trap myself and, inspired by Connie, I intend to again.  The biggest issue for me has been the transition from chilling the rose hips to starting them indoors in the winter.  I know about stratifying the seed, as Connie details in another blog, but after that I have a poor germination rate and an even poorer rate of keeping them alive indoors until springtime. 

But, I have a long-standing desire to get some seedlings out of 'Rugelda', a yellow-red Rugosa that I worship, and maybe some of the other Buck roses such as 'Prairie Harvest'.   If the bumblebees do their job, somewhere out there might be the genes of a buttery-yellow rose of my very own.

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