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This Web site has laid fallow since 2006, but that doesn't mean that I've been idle. I'm more interested in working with my roses than maintaining a complicated Web site. Instead, I write a blog called A Hybridizer's Journal. You'll find my most recent article reproduced below. Meanwhile, the content of this Web site, Old Garden Roses and Beyond, will remain untouched. Please visit me at my blog for the latest about my work.

From A Hybridizer's Journal: Back to Rugosa origins

26-09-04, Parentage: 'Hansa' X "Magseed". Appearance-wise this is a completely unremarkable hybrid, but I value what it represents genetically. The pollen parent was given to me by it's creator Ralph Moore years ago; a cross of 'Anytime' and 'Rugosa Magnifica'. By crossing it back to an older "purebred" Rugosa I hoped to regain some of the Rugosa strength, character and, hopefully, health while infusing some of the modern miniature traits like generosity of bloom.

Clearly this seedling is not just a selfing of 'Hansa' since it has that odd "antler" pubescence often seen in Rugosa/modern hybrids. It has yet to be seen if this cultivar has merit as a garden shrub, but I plan on working it forward with other diploid breeding lines. I see a marriage with 'Therese Bugnet' in it's future.

From A Hybridizer's Journal: Sabbatical

I am announcing my decision to take a sabbatical from rose hybridizing. This may in fact lead to "retirement" from the work in time; I am open to that possibility. Right now, I have ceased generating new seedlings will and spend the next two seasons evaluating what I already have. After that, who knows.

This "hobby" (for surely that is what I must call it since it doesn't pay for itself; it is a drain on my resources, both monetary and emotional) has reached a scale that is unmanageable and so I have to look very hard at what there is here and be ruthless in removing anything that does not approach perfection. (and since perfection is so very conspicuous by its absence from most roses, that ought to be easy enough) With any luck, this approach will reduce the volume of plants, and the associated work load, to a fraction of its current state. Then, and only then, will I consider resuming the making of new crosses and raising more seedlings. I may not resume at all. Only time will tell.

As regards this blog; I make no promises that I will continue to post information. I will if the mood hits me, but for the most part I will focus my energy on the work at hand: reducing my work load and hard culling of materials. Wish me luck. And thanks for reading and contributing to this blog for the past two years. It has been a pleasure engaging my readers.

Paul Barden
June 27, 2011.

From A Hybridizer's Journal: Grapey surprise.

27-09-02: 'Midnight Blue' X "MORsoul". The latter is an unreleased Moore hybrid from 'Anytime' X R. soulieana. It was one parent of Ralph's lovely little 'Baby Austin'.

This was a huge surprise, color wise. I selected 'Midnight Blue' knowing that if anything could add color to a cross that might bleach out to pale pinks or peaches using most any other parent, 'Midnight Blue' could. I guess I wasn't wrong! This is the second selection that has bloomed in a very dark color. Much darker than anything I imagined possible. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that R. soulieana is represented on both sides of the parentage equation? Hmmm.

Bloom form is a bit disorganized, but that might right itself in time. It is already forming the next blooms just as the first is opening, and lots of new growth is appearing from the base, indicating a potentially shrubby, compact habit. Oh, and has a fragrance too. Fun, eh wot?

For more articles in this series, see: Paul Barden Roses: A Hybridizer's Journal.

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