Future Miniature Gems

After the successful U.S. debut of my BEST miniature rose ‘Glowing Amber’, I have been asked by many rosarians and by the Mini-Rose Garden nursery : “What is coming up next?” And following the publication of his article on me, “Miniature Gems from George Mander” in the October 1997 ‘American Rose’, Bob Martin asked me to write about the future of my mini-gems for Rose Exhibitors’ Forum.

My response to these questions has been, “Oh boy, after ‘Glowing Amber’ my best ever in 23 years of hybridizing and ‘Golden Beryl’ this is a tough act to follow.” Both of these minis are now being propagated in several countries. But I do have some interesting roses which are candidates for future introductions. So here is a preview of things to come.

My next introduction will be a beautifully coloured floribunda rather then a miniature. This floribunda will be introduced in Canada this year. Its registered codename is ‘MANclassic’ and it will be introduced under the name ‘Buffy Sainte-Marie’ (BSM) after the Canadian folk singer. It has classic HT exhibition form and should have the potential to show in sprays and one-to-a-stem floribunda bloom.

(*Note: now “Reclassified” from Fl. to HT!! See American Rose Magazine Aug.03, pg.35)

Its blooms are a blend of orange, salmon, coral, pink and gold with a orange/gold reverse. Some sprays I have seen have had 45 blooms. I am now looking forward to upcoming show results.

(*Note: From 1998 to 2003 BSM has won a number of trophies : 3 trophies for BEST single Fl., BEST 3 blooms and “Most Meritorious Exhibit”, 2 trophies for “Floating in Bowl”, plus “King of Show” just after it was reclassified to Hybrid Tea.)

I also have a number of miniature roses which I hope to add to what I call “The Canadian Gem Series and Rainbow Collection.” These include several bicolour/blend minis with “ALL” colours of the rainbow.

(*Note: One of those bicolour/blend minis was introduced in Canada in 2003/5 and named ‘Mander’s Orange Dream’. The colour is the most remarkable deep burnt orange with lighter orange reverse, with heavy substance and excellent form.)

In addition I have an orange/yellow bicolour and blend miniature rose which has great potential for garden and exhibition. This I consider my next best to ‘Glowing Amber’ and ‘Golden Beryl’. I had planned to introduce it to the U.S. Pacific NW from canada in spring of 1998, but this plan is now on hold. Instead the Mini-Rose Garden (my U.S. Agent), which had tested it for 1 1/2 years, now has nominated it to go to the AOE trials in 1999. According to AOE rules and regulations, we can not sell or show a rose in the U.S. While it is in the trials, as compared to England where a rose can be exhibited and commercially introduced right after it is entered in the trials. So its introduction will have to wait until the trials are concluded.

I am also still testing many other miniature roses with different rainbow colours. My hybridizing goals for the future include continuing to strive for attractive special blends and/or bicolour combinations. One particular colour combination, which I have been looking for since my ‘Rubies ’n’ Pearls’ was introduced in 1992, is a purple and gold bicolour. I am still trying to find the right combination of parents, and it may take me another 10 years just as it took me 15 years to get the colour of ‘Rubies ’n’ Pearls’. Rose breeding takes lots and lots of patience which, luckily, I always have.

I would also like to stress that that attractive colour is not my only goal. Actually disease resistance is first and foremost. Every new seedling which mildews in its early stages is discarded even before I have seen its first bloom. My new seedlings never get sprayed in their first few months. When out in the open all my roses get only sprayed once in April and May, twice in June and once more in July. In spite of only spraying five to six times a season, I seem to have the healthiest and cleanest looking roses of any of my local rose friends I regularly visit in June/July. Mildew is enemy No. 1 here on the west coast but 90 percent of my roses never get mildew at anytime as these are my own varieties and seedlings. Then I wait until September or October for blackspot to appear, and those badly infected get thrown out. In mid October my roses get their last fungicide spray for the season.

The other main factors in my seedling selection are vigour and of course good exhibition form.

And so, you can see, I am still prospecting and look forward to adding to my collection of miniature rose gems. I hope you will enjoy them as well.

[First published by the Rose Exhibitors’ Forum, Summer 1998, Editor Robert B. Martin, Jr.]

(*Notes added and some outdated information edited in 2006 by George Mander)

George Mander
August 2006