I wanted to learn how to bud roses, but I had no idea how to do it. So, this is...
"How it All Began"
My story begins in 1966 when we moved into our present home here in Coquitlam about 20 miles east of Vancouver, B.C. (150 miles N. of Seattle). I only brought about 4 roses with me, but the former owner had planted a rose bush in the middle of the backyard lawn. I had no knowledge of the cultivation of roses and pruned it down to about 30" from its 5 to 6 feet height. All I got the next year was long shoots again and not a single bloom. As I had no idea what rose it was I asked my neighbour who had about 30 to 40 roses in his backyard. He said right away it will probably bloom on second year wood and you should only cut a few inches off the tips. I took his advise in 1967, and in the summer of 1968 I finally got my first blooms. It turned out to be a so called cabbage rose, 'ROSA CENTIFOLIA MAJOR'. I did not like the quartered 100 petals blooms and wanted to throw it out, but the neighbour said to me, "I would bud different varieties of roses onto the main stems". I had grafted apple and cherry trees as a teenager in my parents garden, but budding roses was new to me.
In late 1968 I bought my first rose book in order to learn how to bud roses. As in most rose books, right next to the chapter of budding there was: "How to create your new rose varieties by crossbreeding." Boy, did I find this interesting and exiting! Right then and there I decided to start hybridizing roses in 1969. Now I needed to learn more about the subject and went to libraries to find more rose books and photocopied every article I could find about hybridizing or crossbreeding of roses. At a nursery I found out that we have a local rose society and in the spring of 1969 I joined the Vancouver R. S. At the first meeting I was asking, "Are there any hybridizers in the Society?" No, I was told and everybody said to me,"You are crazy, you are starting from the top! You should first learn how to grow roses..." However, as I had set my mind to hybridize roses, I started from the TOP DOWN in 1969 and learned about the cultivation of roses later on.
My first rose book, of about half a dozen rose books I bought in the following years, was by the worlds foremost hybridizer :"Wilhelm Kordes II". It has given me the best information by far and I followed Mr. Kordes' advise every step of the way.