Graeme Davis, Australia

Something to contemplate

December 30, 2018

Categories: General, Hybridizing, Seedling

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It seems to me a big part of breeding is the selection out of the seedlings – what are you looking for and does this advance things?  I am wondering if we always get this right or even if we systematically get it wrong.  We certainly have objectives and things we are looking for (and not).

This year I showed a seedling at Blayney which won best in show.  We knew it was a numbered seed but it was growing in a clump in dads garden and we could not find the label in the middle of it.

I used the same flower in our championship in Canberra a week later.

For the Canberra show I also picked a young flower of 14/10 – it was that kind of year where picking flowers young was about the only way to get them.  This flower won best flower 1-4 in the seedling section. 

It really needed another couple of days to smooth out properly.

We have had this one for a while and it has been a variety we were not sure about – wondering about its vigour, consistency, and a cup that does not open white.  And we had a number of division 2w-w flowers that were bigger and taller demanding attention in the seedling patch.  The form is great but getting it just right was turning out to be a challenge – not least because it is a slug and snail magnet.

14/10 had turned up before – we took it to Leongatha a few years ago for the Australian championships.  It won best in show. (see link)

And I recall our best flower in 2013 was a 14/10 that the slug visited the night before we were to pick it.

Even so, we kept seeing what was wrong with it.

I was convinced the Blayney flower was a sibling and not 14/10.

Dad dug the clump today and, you guessed it, the label said 14/10.

So now I’m not so worried about the vigour question.  We just were not giving it as much of a chance as some of the others.  And yes. I would like every flower to be perfect, for it to be bigger, and the cup to open white but it does seem to have a few redeeming features.

So I am contemplating if I am spending too much time looking at what is wrong (and how a flower does not match what I was after) and not enough time looking at what is right.

What do others find?




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