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Welcome to the October 2001 edition of my web site! The roses I write about are the Old Garden Roses and select shrub and miniature roses of the 20th century. For tips on rose culture, pruning, propagation and history, see "Other resources on this site". To return to this page, click on the "thorn icon" in the margin at left. Articles from the previous months are archived and can be viewed by clicking on the listings in the left margin. Oh, and please don't write to me for a catalog or pricelist.....this is an information site only.....not a commercial nursery. If you wish to buy roses, see my sponsor, The Uncommon Rose. Thanks!

How Do We Measure?
By Ralph Moore, Hybridizer

Ralph Moore with one of the new Bracteata HybridsWe talk of roses, rose gardens and rose shows but how do you measure a rose garden or a rose? It is not the size or the number of bushes, or the varieties that you have that really makes a rose garden. A rose garden is more that all of these things. In most cases, a real rose garden, whether it is one bush, a hundred, or a thousand, really should be a part of you.

I once had customers, a husband and a wife, who were very avid rosarians. But strangely, the husband chose varieties with soft colors and a more dainty character. His wife, on the other hand, told me she liked her roses big and bold, even gaudy in color. Thus, each rose garden is a reflection of one's own taste and likes and is often a window into ones personality.

I read an account some years ago about two men in England whose hobby was to breed daffodils. Both were businessmen and getting along in years. It so happened that both men died about the same time and a bulb merchant acquired their stocks of daffodil bulbs. But, even though the bulbs became mixed together it was said that each breeder was so different that one could tell by the bulbs and the flowers they bore which came from each man. Unwittingly, each breeder had stamped something of himself in the bulbs he developed.

As for myself, I like roses in a wide range of colors, growth and blooming habit. I like them small and dainty such as the miniatures, but on the other hand I also like many of the big roses, all shapes, shapes and colors. While many of the hybrid teas are attractive, even beautiful in their own way, they are not my favorites. There are so many other beautiful roses that are of more interest to me than most hybrid teas. I sometimes refer to the hybrid tea (especially some I see at rose shows) as "a cabbage on a stick".

a new un-named seedling from Rosa bracteataBecause I like roses that are different from the "run of the mill" is possibly the reason that my rose breeding is so diverse. So, how do we measure a rose?

In my rose breeding, over a span of some sixty plus years, I have worked to develop the miniature rose as we know it today, as well as working with numerous other varieties and species. Of special interest to me have been some of the old tea rose varieties, hybrid perpetuals, hybrid multifloras and wichuraianas.

At Left: One of the new Bracteata Hybrids

In more recent years I have been working with stripes, moss and rugosa hybrids. And to make things even more interesting, I am working with crested moss rose hybrids, R. bracteata and even the most difficult of species, Hulthemia persica. I have now flowered a few third generation hybrids (and looking to the fourth generation). My goal is roses with red (or dark) centers, similar to my Halo™ varieties, but of even more intense or vivid centers and in larger sizes. To do this we have been crossing some of the Halo™ varieties with a Hulthemia hybrid.

But Hulthemia , like many species and other rose varieties, especially some climbers, are once (spring) flowering. I now have one Hulthemia hybrid that repeats all the way to fall. The tendency to mildew seems to be inherited in most Hulthemia hybrids but in time I am sure this can be overcome. a new un-named seedling from Rosa bracteata

So how do you measure a rose? Not with a tape measure or a ruler, not by size or color, it comes down to the simple thought, "Do I like it?"

At Right: Another of the brand new Miniflora roses bred from R. Bracteata that will be released next spring.

NOTE: For 2002 Season.
After many years of innovative breeding we plan to introduce, for your pleasure, three new roses developed from the wild species, Rosa bracteata. This species was the parent of the famous rose, 'Mermaid.'

It is a difficult species to breed with so we are justly proud of these three new roses. One is a very double white miniature, and the other two might be classed as miniflora. They are very profuse bloomers, and fragrant.

These are a FIRST, so we invite you to be among the first to try them in your garden as soon as they are released (spring 2002). They will be available in very limited quantity.

And there are other unique and different kinds coming up soon - all the result of over 20-30 years of original and innovative breeding.

a new un-named seedling from Rosa bracteataAt Left: A Miniature with quilled petals, also bred from R. bracteata.

Yesterday's Rose

Yesterday, God gave me
A special rose to enjoy.
Not like those we have
In our gardens of today,
The plant grew lank and tall,
Bloomed only in the spring,
But, oh, what fragrance
That special rose imparted.

So today I look for roses,
Kinds that are sweet and pure,
Ones like those of yesterday,
But on a plant neat and low.
Kinds that bloom more than spring
In colors wild and rare.
But at times I long for
That rose of yesterday.

Ralph Moore 7/1/01

These articles reprinted from Minirama magazine with the kind permission of Mr. Moore and staff.
If you are interested in learning more about Ralph Moore and his work, and hearing the latest news about his breeding program, you should consider subscribing to his newsletter, "Minirama". It is produced quarterly and can be obtained by sending $6, US to Sequoia Nursery, 2519 East Noble Avenue, Visalia California. 93292. Be sure to write "Attention: Minirama" on the envelope.

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