Monday, January 12, 2009

The Rites of Winter

January 1st does not really have significance for me as far as New Year's Resolutions and parties. Rather, it is the date by which I like to have seeds which require cold stratification ready and in the fridge. They are the seeds of woody plants -- dogwood, redbud, snowbell, and roses -- and iris. A lot of people wintersow, but I prefer this method. It works for me and is the best way I know how to celebrate the new year.

It's still a miracle to me what comes from those tiny little seeds.

Rosa rugosa alba

Iris virginica blooms its second year from seed.

'Therese Bugnet' seedling

Japanese iris

Rosa rugosa rubra

'Foxi Pavement' seedling. It looks exactly like its parent.


  1. You do have a way with seeds and a lot of patience. It takes a while to grow a rose bush from a seed. Since I have extra space, perhaps I'll try. The rugosas and my Canadian roses have lots of hips.

  2. The color of your Japanese Iris is gorgeous!! I would love to have a whole bed of those.

  3. Sweet Bay,

    I can smell the roses...yummy...evenif theyare scentless they look like they should be wafting fragrance all over the place! When do they begin blooming?


  4. Hi Marnie. Often a seedling will put out a bloom or two the first year, bloom a little the second year, and be up and running the third year. My growing season is longer than yours, but I've been a little surprised as how quickly the rose seedlings have matured. Three or four years is a long time, but considering how many roses I have bought that died... teas and chinas too, roses that are good for this area.

    Hi flydragon. That particular iris had the richest color of the seedlings, even better than the parent. I need to tag it and divide it when it's big enough!

    Hi Gail. Happily all are fragrant. The rugosa albas smell like cloves. The rubras smell like a combination of damask rose and cloves, and the Foxi Pavement and seedling have a strong damask fragrance with a hint of cloves. The fragrance of the FP is so strong that it wafts.

    These roses usually start blooming around the first of May, so they get their first flush in before the Japanese Beetles show up, which is nice.

  5. That Rugosa Hybrid looks like what I know as UHLwe, from the German grower Uhl, who doesn't want to divulge the parentage.

    Now their seedlings would not come true, would they? Just one step too far removed from the wild rugosa?

    Bewildering business, this rose breeding. How long do you keep them in the fridge?

    I'm afraid I just bunged my heps in the compost. Didn't even extract the achenes. They had been cold enough in the greenhouse. Anything to miss out a few steps ;-)

  6. I was surprised that the Foxi Pavement seedling looked just the parent, but that's only one of the seedlings. That's a second year seedling and most of what I have are first year seedlings that haven't bloomed yet. It'll be interesting to see how they look on whole.

    I looked up UHLwe at helpmefind and found it's also called Pierette Pavement. Mine is supposed to be Foxi Pavement, but it may indeed be Pierette. It's too bad the breeders won't divulge the parentage.

    I know I won't likely get anything fancy from these seedlings, but I love the simplicity of single and double flowers, and their fragrance. There's just enough difference between them to make things interesting. And they're very tough -- not something one normally associates with roses, lol.

    Those seeds will probably love being on the compost heap. I keep my seeds in the fridge for 3 months.


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