Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Greenhouse Bloom 2 . . .

Although not coming on fast, there are sporadic blooms in the greenhouse. The plants really look healthy this year. Last year I had the worst infestation of thrips that I have ever seen. They just got out of hand and nothing I used to spray with seemed to have an impact. I used both chemical insecticides and biological controls with no apparent impact. They got so bad, the flowers looked like they had pepper heavily sprinkled all over them. They even effected seed set last year.

This year, I started spraying as soon as I took the potted plants into the greenhouse and I have not seen one thrips (yes, thrips is both singular and plural) this year. I have rotated Orthene, Avid, and something else that I cannot remember the name of sitting here. At this point, I have not seen any spider mites either, but then it may be a little early and cool for them.

Blooming this morning for the first time was H. 'Steve Martin', a 2008 introduction from Jeff Salter, named for Steve who runs the garden. It is a large 7" flower that is on a 30" scape. A great flower. The image is Jeff's and used with permission.

There were two selected seedlings blooming this morning:

I like Dan Trimmer's H. 'Spring Formal' (upper left) for the round, full form and the crimped and ruffled edge. I used it as the pod parent and used pollen from H. 'Judith Aucoin', (lower left) one of our 2010 introductions. I am trying to put some sculpting onto an eyed and edged flower. Well, you can see the results below in seedling No. 9022, I got neither, but I know the genes are in there. Well, there is some light sculpting, but no eye or edge. I do like the form and the ruffling that folds over down in the throat and will use this flower as a bridge plant. The seedling images were taken on first bloom in the garden in 2009. You can see my shadow trying to get shade on the flower.

The second seedling to bloom was a cross of H. 'Crazy Ivan' (Smith) as the pod parent (upper left) and H. 'Elisa Dallas' (Trimmer) as the pollen parent (lower left). I have always liked the intense black/purple eye and the very light petal color on CI. I thought I would cross it with ED for the form and eye pattern. Both have the nice green throat You can see from the seedling No. 9019  image below the I did not get any of the good traits from either parent that I so desired except for maybe the green throat.

I guess I am like a lot of hybridizers, I am a little impatient. I want what I want right now, and that does not happen often. Maybe in the next generation or two, I will finally see some of the results I am seeking.

Never-the-less, life is very, very good.

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