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Archiving the Ralph Moore Miniatures
by Paul Barden, Part two

Continued here is a selection of some of my favorite, and in most cases, older Moore roses.

'Tea Party'Left: 'Tea Party' Breeding: 0-47-19 X 'Eleanor', 1972.

A fine little rose in a coral-peach hue. Lightly fragrant blooms are produced in large clusters on vigorous canes to 16 inches tall. It has inherited the extremely dark glossy foliage from its Grandparent, R. wichuraiana.

'Avandel'Right: 'Avandel', 1977. From a cross of 'Little Darling' X 'New Penny'.

Not only is this an excellent garden Miniature of soft coloring and excellent growth habit, but it has been a valuable breeder for Ralph Moore and other hybridizers. In many ways, it is a perfect miniature replica of its seed parent, 'Little Darling'.

'Peachy White'Left: 'Peachy White', introduced in 1996, Bred from 'Little Darling' X 'Red Germain'.

This lovely hybrid was almost never introduced into commerce, until other growers like Harmon Saville used it in their breeding program. Reports of its excellent merits came back to Sequoia Nursery and they opted to release it after all.

Clean white blooms with an occasional blush of peach are born freely in clusters throughout the season. The mature bloom is of open form with about 20 petals or so, showing off the darker stamens to nice effect. Buds are wonderfully shaped, like small Hybrid Teas, with pointed petals.

'Softee'Right: 'Softee', introduced in 1983. Breeding: 0-47-19 X 1-72-1.

For those of you who do not recognize the code name of the pollen parent of 'Softee', it will shed some light to know that it is a sister seedling of the famous yellow Miniature, 'Rise 'N' Shine'. 1-72-1 has played a substantial role in the Sequoia Nursery breeding program because it has been found to produce excellent deep yellows in its seedlings, moreso than 'Rise 'N' Shine'.

'Softee' is a wonderful rose, and it is a complete mysteryto me why this variety has drifted into obscurity. Apricot buds open fully into an informal bloom which fades to off-white. The shrub is thornless and blooms are produced in clusters of 25 or more on a mature plant. Truly an outstanding rose of great merit.

Left: 'Pink Poodle', bred from 1-72-1 X 'Old Blush' and released in 1991.

This rose never got much good press, even from the beginning. One careless reviewer, in an attempt to make a pun on the name said that it was a "dog", and it marred the rose' future in commerce. However, many of us have discovered what an exquisitely formed rose this is! Absolutely unique in form and habit, 'Pink Poodle' has everything going for it: lots of bloom, graceful, tidy growth to 18", spectacular Old Fashioned bloom form, and that "sweet pea" fragrance inherited from its Chinese pollen parent. I can't say enough good things about this lovely rose. It deserves to be more widely grown. Perhaps it has simply not enjoyed its heyday yet?

'Red Germain'Right: 'Little Buckaroo'. Bred from 0-47-19 X ('Oakington Ruby' X 'Floradora') and introduced in 1956.

'Little Buckaroo' was a landmark Miniature at the time of its release for both its compact growth, excellence of bloom continuity and its brilliant coloring. It was the winner of a Gold Medal from The Hague shortly after its release, and is still a very colorful, reliable garden shrub. Growth is 18 to 24 inches tall.

'Candy Cane'Left: 'Candy Cane', released into commerce by Sequoia Nursery in 1958. Breeding: ('Soeur Therese' X 'Skyrocket') X (Seedling X 'Red Ripples') X "Zee".

One of the earliest Climbing Miniatures, this is also one of the earliest striped climbers. 'Candy Cane' makes an 8 foot climber, performing its best when given something to support it. The sheer volume of bloom on this rose is astonishing: I have seen my plant so heavy with bloom that it almost obscures the foliage. Still in commerce and very much worth growing for its ability to outperform many other roses in its class.

'Dian'Right: 'Dian', introduced in 1957. Resulted from a cross of 0-47-19 X ('Oakington Ruby' X 'Floradora').

'Dian' is a very early Miniature that is in many ways very different stylistically from the modern Miniatures we have come to know in recent years. This style of rose was never created to emulate the Hybrid Tea bloom form, but instead was created in its own style, with blooms that open gracefully and have fine form from start to the very finish. There is something reminiscent of the OGR bloom form in 'Dian' with its rings of petals and the slight button eye. The plant will slowly build to make a 2 X 2 foot shrub if allowed to, or remain in the 12 to 18 inch range when pruned annually. After all these years, 'Dian' is still a lovely shrub.

Left: 'YellowBantam'. Released in 1960. Breeding: 0-47-19 X 'Fairy Princess'.

Again we find 0-47-19 used as the seed parent, with a light pink Miniature serving as the pollen parent. Many fine and highly different roses have come out of 0-47-19, which is a vigorous Rambler of massive proportions. It's hard to imagine that such a small rose as 'YellowBantam' could have resulted! It is very tiny in its leaves and blooms, and rarely exceeds 12 inches in height. The bonus is that it has a definite "Lily of the Valley" fragrance!

Right: 'It's Showtime', a hybrid Tea released by Springhill Nurseries in 1997. Breeding: 'Joycie' X 'Bon Silene'.

This rose illustrates another aspect of the genius of Ralph Moore. Here he has used two very unlikely parents to create a Hybrid Tea of unique character. The seed parent is an orange Miniature, while the pollen parent is an old Tea from 1835. The match resulted in this exquisite peach colored Hybrid Tea. It will build growth to eventually become a 6 or 7 foot shrub if desired, or it can be pruned like a typical HT to keep it to 4 or 5 feet tall. While this is neither a Miniature, nor is it old, it is rare in commerce at this time. It is also one of the few Hybrid Teas that has made a deep impression on me. Highly recommended, if you can find one!

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