I live in Akron Ohio and have been growing roses for about thirteen years now. Most of my interest is pointed towards species and cold-hardy roses. That is the direction that my hybridizing is headed also.
I love that roses incorporate so many different aspects into one hobby. Art, science and history come to mind.
These are the first blooms of the year for me. This plant is an OP seedling of R. sericea. It was sent to me by David Zlesak. The blooms are about an inch and a half across. I just got it from him last year and it was a large plant already. It was too late for it to bloom then so this is the first time I've seen them. It's new basals have the bright red winged thorns of the parent but not as large. I will probably freeze some of its pollen to use later.
I love the pimpinellifoliae class. They are the harbingers of rose season.
Most of my first year roses that I didn't put in the ground last year have made it through the winter. The past few winters I have been putting my pot ghetto in my shed. I keep them watered so they don't dry out and then come springtime out they come. I have found that I can keep zone 6 and 7 roses in there also and 9 times out of ten they make it through ( I am zone 5). I have found very little die back this way either so it gives them a good start. I have no room for a greenhouse or else I would have one in my yard. Most of my roses end up in my dad's yard about an hour away where there is ample room for the large shrub and species roses to grow.
The past two years have been learning experiences. Most everything seems to go in slow motion for me. Working full-time and raising a family come first in my house so that could be a good reason for this feeling. I have gained a lot of knowledge but don't have much to show for it. My crosses were minimal but I used the many OP seeds I had plus many from other people to learn to grow seeds. I am finally ready to get started with the real thing.
Living in zone 5 my season is just getting started. A lot of my interest goes into the species roses. I love the Pimpinellifolae class (including the spins and early oriental yellows). I am also interested in the Caninae section and last but definitely not least are the prairie roses bred by the Canadians last century. I am trying to carefully choose some moderns to incorporate at some point in time.
One of the crosses I am looking forward to making is L83 x Basye's Legacy. Both of these roses pique my interest. It may prove to be interesting even if it will end up pink.
Another I am looking forward to is doubtful to take but I will try anyway. I am going to receive pollen from Paul Barden of a rose bred by Kim Rupert which is 1-72-1 x R. hugonis (1-72-1 is a sister seedling to Rise 'n' Shine). I would like to put this pollen onto a R. sericea OP seedling I received from David Zlesak. From what Paul has told about the Rupert seedling though is that he has never gotten anything from it so fertility is very much lacking.
Those are just a couple of highlights for my upcoming hybridizing season though I have many more things rolling around my brain. As for those, I will keep you posted.