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Look to the Rose
(1986)  Page(s) 109.  Includes photo(s).
 
'Angelita' is a step on the way along the 'Snow Carpet' path. It has better foliage, carries twice as much flower, repeats easily, and really is something of a miracle.....One year I had two seedlings which flowered profusely on the bench and retained their dwarf spreading habit. They were being smothered by the surrounding seedlings, so I lifted them carefully and transplanted them to more spacious quarters.....The creamy pink 'Angelita' thrived to tempt me further along the path. It but rarely sets seed, and then one to a pod. An occasional flower will have one stamen with golden pollen. I'll persist.
(1986)  
 
p18. If you ask me to named the best yellow floribunda today I would unhesitatingly say 'Friesia'. Not that it is perfect. Arthur Bell is a much better plant.

p55. Arthur Bell, over the years has been a marvellous parent. It gave a vitality and vigour to yellow roses. It transmitted its fragrance easily. it gave healthy progeny. I used it a lot, always trying to tame its vigour just a bit and at the same time increase the flower size.....

p70. Illustration Arthur Bell. Raised by Sam McGredy in New Zealand in 1965. Bred from 'Clare Grammerstorf' x 'Piccadilly'. An ideal yellow for a cool climate.

p71. Arthur Bell' is named, of course, for the best distillery in Scotland..... 'Arthur Bell' has been on the market for quite some time. It is a stayer, and it is easy to see why. It has vigour and health - the two basic needs of any good rose. It also is very, very fragrant, albeit somewhat different in its nose from the original article. Sure, the colour fades as the flowers grow old, but it is always attractive....Not only has 'Arthur Bell' been popular as a garden rose, it has been of immense importance in bringing its health and vigour to following generations.....

p80. What is interesting is that I would call both 'Mary Sumner' and Arthur Bell "unmanageable" because of their tendency to throw over-tall semi-climbing second shoots.

p82. As a breeder, I find the seedlings interesting. Far too many of them lack vigour. About ten percent, however, have a most perfect habit, showing all the good points of Arthur Bell without the very tall second shoots.... The fragrance factor is elusive, as ever. 'Arthur Bell' is full of it..... I still have a lot of faith in the R. eglanteria strain, through 'Arthur Bell' derivatives.
(1986)  Page(s) 36.  
 
Back in 1910 the American, Van Fleet, introduced a soft pink wichuriana hybrid called ‘Dr. W. van Fleet’. This subsequently produced a repeat-blooming sport named ‘New Dawn’ – still one of the great roses of all time. It became a successful mother in my breeding programme, giving me in 1967 ’Bantry Bay’ - a much deeper pink, free-flowering, vigorous and healthy.
(1986)  
 
p71. Not only has 'Arthur Bell' been popular as a garden rose, it has been of immense importance in bringing its health and vigour to following generations. 'Benson & Hedges Gold' and .... are but a few of its progeny.

p82. At its best, the colour of Benson & Hedges Gold is stunning - deep, deep unfading yellow with a touch of pink at the edges of the petals. The foliage is tough and hard, the plant habit ideal and free for bedding. It was good enough to win the Gold Star of the South Pacific. The faults are obvious - it opens quickly, losing its centre. Now and again it decides to produce a stem of paler blooms. As a derivative of 'Arthur Bell', I would have expected it to be faultless in vigour. It's not quite. It seems to grow well in certain places and not in others. In New Zealand, I've seen it beautiful at Palmerston North and Taupo, but straggly in the humidity of Auckland.... only a little fragrance
(1986)  Page(s) 42.  Includes photo(s).
 
....Dorola is definitely an outdoor type. So far, it is the deepest unfading yellow, and I'm lucky to be first in that field. it is also a rarity - a rose which seems to perform equally well all over the world. Another odd thing, Reimer Kordes picked the name - and I haven't an idea what it means. It just has a nice sound about it. The deep yellow colour is a lucky break. I used 'Mabella' for its perfect form and tough petals. The colouring is pale yellow and unexceptional. Perhaps the deep yellow gene was lurking in the background of 'Minuetto'.....
(1986)  Page(s) 91.  
 
....but it lacks the grace and charm of 'Whisky Mac'. I have a seedling of it ['Whisky Mac'] with 'Benson & Hedges Gold' which looks more than promising, but it will take another year to really tell its worth.
(1986)  Page(s) 89.  Includes photo(s).
 
Sam McGredy: 'City of Belfast'. .....One night we started to talk about a 'City of Belfast' rose. In due course, I selected a variety to bear the name. It was launched at a cocktail party on my nursery attended by many of my friendly competitors in breeding. Reg Wesley would tease me, not without some mild concern, as to whether or not the rose was a real winner. Some months later, it won the President's trophy of the Royal National Rose Society for the best rose of the year. I couldn't resist sending him a telegram with the postscript "Is that good enough?" ....
(1986)  Page(s) 22.  
 
Sam McGredy: I am baffled by the fact that Sylvia is listed as a floribunda in England. Reimer Kordes who raised it, lists it as a Hybrid Tea....
(1986)  Page(s) 73.  Includes photo(s).
 
When 'Derek Nimmo' is in its prime, it is breathtakingly beautiful. It is all the things an exhibitor dreams about. The flower is held on very erect stems, the bloom is noble with a perfect bud form, the colour is crisp and clear. I've seen it so often like that on Mattock's nursery in Oxford, England, and it is always like that in my rose-breeding glasshouse. When the bloom opens, however, the form goes with a somewhat confused centre, although the colour remains pleasing. Elsewhere in this book I express my personal dislike of powdery mildew. There seem to be different strains of it in different countries, as a variety like Die Welt suffers badly here, but not elsewhere. The same goes for 'Derek Nimmo' which seems to contract mildew early in our season here, but nowhere else. So it's not one of my personal favourites, although I can see it popping up on the showbench. Plant, hardiness, and resistance to all the other myriad of pests and diseases is above average, probably due to the 'Fragrant Cloud' in its parentage. From a rose-breeding standpoint it is interesting to note that its pollen parent is an unnamed seedling of mine nicknamed Maccrisp. Just as you get to know your children's idiosyncrasies over the years, I've learnt a lot about Maccrisp, what it will breed and what it will not breed. The crisp part of the nickname is obvious - the petals are crisp and firm, a character it transmits to all its offspring. Its parentage is Picasso crossed with an unnamed Poulsen floribunda, proving that it is possible to get from a small-flowered floribunda to a large HT. in two generations. I really started to use Maccrisp as a parent because of the crispness and the Picasso hand-painted blood.. However, I've discovered two more important characteristics it transmits rather easily. The more mundane is strong blackspot resistance. What excites me is its ability to give red HT.'s without a trace of bluishness, even in the old flower. Fragrant Cloud can go a horrible colour as it goes over, so one would expect Derek Nimmo to do the same, but thanks to Maccrisp, it doesn't.

'Derek Nimmo'. HT. Raised by Sam McGredy in New Zealand in 1981. Bred from 'Fragrant Cloud x [Unnamed Poulsen seedling x Picasso]
(1986)  Page(s) 36.  Includes photo(s).
 
....About the same-time the French breeder Delbard produced the brilliant scarlet single climber 'Altissimo'. I don't use all that many roses from other breeders, but when something with a startling colour like 'Altissimo' comes along, I grab it, and use the pollen in my programme. Some people would have me believe that rose-breeding is pure luck. I don't go along with that. If I believe in a cross, I make a large number of cross-fertilisations so that I really explore the possibilities of bringing two parents together. I actually harvested 116 seed-pods of 'Bantry Bay' x 'Altissimo'. Out of many hundreds of seedlings which germinated and flowered on the bench in the glasshouse, twelve were worth budding to look at again in the paddock a year later. From those twelve, I picked two to re-bud and see again the next year. Of the two, I picked one, nicknamed it Dublin Bay, and sent it to my agents all around the world to have their opinion. A two-year wait - and they liked it. And they liked the nickname, so it stuck. 'Dublin Bay' is a beaut. It is different to the Kordes style of climber. The flowers are more of HT form, the habit more shrubby. While many of the Kordes varieties will make good weeping standards or tree roses, my style of climber just won't. And I am content, as who wants their Toyota to look just like a Datsun? We both have our own individual style. Is 'Dublin Bay' my best climber? I really don't know. For years, 'Handel' was my favourite "baby". If you believe, as many do, that a rose can be any colour as long as it's red, then maybe 'Dublin Bay' is the best.
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