Q1. How many crosses do you make in one year? A. Between 8,000 – 15,000 in a ten week period from Mid-April to end of June.
Q2. How many seeds do you sow? A. Up to 150,000, with a maximum of 750 of these being selected for further evaluation. We achieve a germination rate of between 60 – 70%. Hips are harvested from mid-September to November and sorted according to cross. Seeds are sown in January in the seedling house. Germination is visible within days / weeks, with first flowers appearing in April. Daily evaluation and selection is made up to July, when the marked varieties will be budded in the field.
Q3. How long does it take to introduce a rose? A. Between eight and ten years.The roses resulting from this year’s pollination may not reach the catalogue until 2016, and no more than four from any one breeding season will be deemed good enough for introduction.
Q4. Is it possible to have a rose named for a member of the public? A. Yes. There are three ways of doing this; please contact us for prices.
Option 1 – the cheapest way – for two years, you will receive a total of 50 plants and a Certificate of Authenticity. Depending on your colour preference, classification and availability you could have plants this autumn / winter. All roses offered have been tested for more than two years. But bear in mind the prices reflect the cost of breeding a rose, and the rose you buy will be unique and of good quality.
Option 2 – the middle way – These roses cost more and are included in our catalogue for the public to purchase.
Option 3 – the most expensive way – These roses are offered to growers nationwide for inclusion in their catalogues. Prices are higher because of UK Plant Breeder’s Rights Applications. This option requires a longer build-up period as large quantities must be available.
Q5. How long has your Company been breeding roses? A. The family has been involved with the growing of roses since 1836, and with breeding since 1879. Colin Dickson is the sixth generation of the family. For more details see the history page.
The breeding process in pictures
Budded field before cutting back
Budded field early spring
Rose field in the summer
Hybridising house in the winter
Hybridising house in May
Emasculating in the morning
Pollinating in the afternoon
Ripe seed parents labelled with code of pollen parent
Extracting harvested seeds
Seedling house before sowing
Seedling house after sowing
Seedlings starting to germinate in late winter / early spring