During my 32 years of hybridizing, I have never read nor heard the expression
Performing a Rose Wedding even though in my early years I
had read all the articles on rose breeding that I could find. When I asked
rosarians in Canada and the U.S.A., Do you know what a rose wedding
is? most of them replied, Is it a new rose variety?
No, I said, this is an expression for hybridizing I have just run across
in a very old rose book, The Rose Manual, written in 1930
by J. H. Nicholas, a well known amateur hybridizer of the time.
I had inherited this book from a local hybridizer friend
in the mid-eighties but my job with a pump company left me with very little
spare time for reading or hybridizing and I never even opened the book.
Finally, in May of 1992 I was able to take early retirement and I had
all the spare time in the world. In 1993 I was able to do more reading,
opened my 63 year old rose book and managed to perform a record number
of approximately 1000 rose weddings. During my working years
I had never averaged more than 100-200 crosses annually.
Now, having a record number of seedlings, I soon learned that all the
knowledge in the world does not help if nature does not cooperate; it
only explains ones failures. As I have mentioned in another article,
hybridizing is 99% luck and only one percent planning!
(first published in the Rose Hybridizers Association newsletter
in winter 1995)