It’s all in the genes

EDP Norfolk - - Norfolk Gardens -

Breed­ing and de­vel­op­ing new roses is a key part of the work at Peter Beales. But for those seek­ing the per­fect black or blue rose, there is likely to be dis­ap­point­ment. “The genes are just not there, it just does not hap­pen,” ex­plains Ian. What hap­pens is that the ‘black’ roses are ac­tu­ally su­per-deep red and the ‘blue’ end up as pur­ple.

“If we could do it we’d be able to re­tire the next day!” he jokes.

As it is the rose de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme is pretty in­ten­sive. “When we’re breed­ing roses every year we’ll cross prob­a­bly 2-3,000 dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties which will pro­duce 40,000 seeds every year. Out of those in ten years’ time there might be 6-10 va­ri­eties that are good enough to launch.”

BE­LOW: Hard at work pack­ing up the or­ders

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