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Harkness, Jack L.

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  Listing last updated on 15 Nov 2022.
United Kingdom
John ("Jack") Leigh Harkness (June 29, 1918 - 1994)
See also Harkness under Breeders

[From The Makers of Heavenly Roses, 1985, pp. 160 ff:] In September 1934, at the age of sixteen, I reported for duty as the new apprentice at the Slieve Donard Nursery in Newcastle, County Down. ...three years in Newcastle....Geoffrey Livens...taught me botany and German. ..I went back to England in 1937 ...joined R. Harkness & Co at Hitchin, Herfordshire. ...I proposed to Bill [Harkness] in 1938 that the firm should start breeding roses, and that I would do it. ..After much thought, I selected my breeding stock, including several new varieties we bought from Meilland in France and Max Krause in Germany. They did not grow 1939 I duly made my first crosses....After six and a quarter years in the army, I returned to Hitchin in June 1946. May 1962 we began our career as hybridists...It was in 1964 that we saw the results in the open air, and began to select our first introductions. The best was 'Escapade', a semi-double Floribunda from 'Pink Parfait' X 'Baby Faurax'...The most popular, because more conventional, were helped by a fortunate thought in naming them in association with one another. 'King Arthur', 'Guinevere', 'Sir Lancelot' and 'Merlin'. We introduced them in 1967, five years from the time of pollination...
I moved from Hitchin in 1977, promising to return for the breeding; and settled in Southwold.
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