... growing and hybridizing all kinds of plants in zone 6b Maryland since the 1980's.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hibiscus grandiflorus and hybrid

I'm already collecting first pods off of the Hibiscus 'Blue River II' x grandiflorus F1 hybrid. So, I took this picture of those pods, with a shoot of Hibiscus grandiflorus itself to show you how grandiflorus hasn't even decided to flower yet. There might be some microscopic buds forming in that shoot tip, but we'll be lucky to see them open before a hard frost. See why I was so glad that the hybrid didn't inherit that grandiflorus photoperiod sensitivity.

BH3 - Rosa bracteata X (rugosa x palustris)

These are some pictures of BH3 blooms that I took Sunday evening. Next year this plant is going to be HUGE! I hope this year's scattered repeat blooms means we'll have even more next season. I know that most people seem to really like the pink sibling (BH1) that has more rugosa-like foliage, but I think (especially now with this little bit of repeat) that this one might be my own favorite of the four. I've always appreciated the stark white flowers and the healthy graceful foliage.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rosa bracteata hybrid BH3

Well, it's been opening a bloom or two here and there for a little while now. Definitely not as much as a typical repeat blooming rose, but still better than none this time of year. I saw the white petals down over the hill but when I went down they'd just dropped off of the flower. There's another bud behind that one though and a few more still to open on other places on the bush.
 Here's how full the foliage still is. The picture tops out over my head, which is where several of the shoots are going.
Here are some hips setting down near the grass. From years past. I'd expect them to have only 1-4 small seeds.

2013 "Colorful Sweet Corn" seed harvest

It was a good year for the corn. There are around two dozen special selected ears hanging in the basement and about a quarter of small, poorly filled or moldy ears we left out in the garden. Even so, here's all the rest.
These are all derivatives of recent outcrosses followed by backcrosses to our own colorful sweet. So they've got at least 1/4 of one of the following: 'Piamonte Orange Flint', 'Japonica Striped' or 'Strawberry Popcorn'. [Most of the colors don't show at the eating stage in case you're wondering.]


This annual sunflower is the pollen parent I'm trying on Jerusalem artichoke this year. Wish me lots of luck!


It may be a little bit too aggressive for some spots, but this perennial blue leadwort (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) sure makes a pretty groundcover this time of year.

Hibiscus 'Jazzberry Jam'

Picked this beauty up at a nursery the other day for $14. This is one of the last flowers on it but I plan on using it next season in some crosses.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One of the Rosa bracteata hybrids showing sparse repeat bloom

I've kept four of the best seedlings from Rosa bracteata X (rugosa x palustris) and numbered them BH1 thru BH4. This is the first time I've seen any of these have ANY repeat bloom. This is BH3 (one of the two whites). BH1 is the one I've called the "pink monster" in the past (with the heavy influence of rugosa showing in it's foliage). This BH3 has more of the palustris look showing in its foliage. The leaf in the upper left of the picture is a weedy blackberry growing through. The foliage underneath is the rose.
I thought that I'd seen a bloom on it from afar about a week ago (but just figured it was a fluke), and when I went down to check this one yesterday, I see that there have been five recent blooms scattered all over the bush. So, I guess it's not a sported/mutated branch but maybe rather just a general tendency to have a few late blooms. It also seems to be one of the cleanest as far as leaf spotting goes. I hope it continues to show these characteristics in the future.

Three white cucumbers for seed saving

These three mature white cucumbers have now been split and scooped out for seeds for next season.
They're some of the ones I posted recently about - derived from 'Lemon' cucumber crossed with normal dark green salad types. I still need to process the long yellows and the blocky yellows.

Our little bat friend...

Our little friend was sleeping down lower on the window screen the night before last, so I got a better close-up picture. I wouldn't think that this is such an ideal spot for a roost. It seems awful "exposed". But I guess there isn't a whole lot else better around here. Maybe I should look into making some "bat boxes" to give them more roosting options.