Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Harvesting Rose Seeds

With all the heat this Summer I haven't had too many good flower pictures to share.  One interesting note from the garden is that I have decided to try collecting a few rose hips this year.  With all the focus on rose flowers, it is easy to forget that roses actually produce a fruit filled with seeds.  Some people make a rose hip tea which I've never tried but maybe some day.  This year my interest is in collecting some seeds to sow in the Spring.  When I get into the Fall I will be building a cold frame for a few Winter cuttings and to sow the seeds I collect this year in the Spring.  If you have advice on cold frames I would love to hear it.   
Pictured above and below are hips from the moss rose Unconditional Love which has readily produces hips for me each year.  As the mossing matures it can make handling the hips a bit prickly, though they usually brush off easily.  None of the hips I'm collecting are the product of intentional crosses but instead are open pollinated and most likely being self pollinated (which should reveal some of the plants genetic potential).  It is also possible that bees, other insects, or even the wind could have carried pollen from one plant to another thus producing a cross without much chance of knowing the plant which contributed the pollen.
The seeds are easily collected from the rose hips by simply cutting them in half and shelling the seeds.  The number of seeds in a rose hip can vary quite a bit.  I have opened a large hip to find one seed or as many as six or seven.
So far this year I have collected open pollinated seeds from Unconditional Love, Tattooed Lady, Vineyard Song, Climbing Rainbow's End, Scentsational, Lavender Lassie, Graham Thomas, Heritage, and Gertrude Jekyll.  We will probably end up with others before the year is over.  While I hope to germinate seeds from each of these roses, I am trying to not have many expectations beyond successfully growing a few roses from seed.  If I can successfully get a few seedlings to mature I will feel like I have learned something new.  Anything beyond that in terms of quality or revealed genotype through a self-pollinated seedling will be a bonus.  Wish me luck.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Carlin's Rhythm and Dragon's Blood

As yesterday's delivery from Rogue Vally Roses arrived the temperature was reaching 110 degrees for the 4th time this year.  Not my most well thought out plan but I can easily get these small roses full of potential to survive until they are ready to be planted in September.
The flower in the above photo is what was waiting to surprise me upon my opening the package which had just traveled halfway across the country.  Carlin's Rhythm is one of Kim Rupert's creations.  Kim runs the rose blog Pushing the Rose Envelope and has been an encourager of my budding interesting in growing a few roses from seed this coming year.  I'll tell you more about that later.  Carlin's Rhythm is a lavender single floribunda or shrub rose and is very fragrant, at least the one flower I have enjoyed.  The breeding behind Carlin's Rhythm holds some interesting possibilities as it brings several species roses in through its parents Lilac Charm x Basye's Legacy.
I will just have to dream of the other rose's flowers for now.  It is Paul Barden's dramatically colored shrub rose Dragon's Blood which I have almost ordered several times before.  You can follow the link in the previous sentence to see a few pictures of the flowers but let me also tempt you by saying that its flowers can be a smoldering fire orange/red.  You can find out more about Dragon's Blood and Paul Barden through this link. 

For now they are potted up and in the widow sill waiting for the promise of Wednesday's projected high of 98, a cool 10 degrees cooler than today.  They will live in the shade until they are ready to make their next move.  I think today makes 44 days now of 100 degrees or higher this Summer.  When we hit 50 it will be the hottest Summer on record for Oklahoma.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dragonfly Visitors

I was inspired by Cat at The Whimsical Gardener to try and capture some dragonfly photos.  Here is the first one I was able to capture.  Can't tell you anything about its species but it did give me a couple of different angles to get its best side.