|19th July 2020.
Disa (Trata x Watsonii 'Candy').
Although the Disa season will probably extend for another month, the peak has passed. I have performed more pollinations than is rational, I am almost relieved when some of the pods fail to swell.
I have prepared for the chaos to come by writing clear labels for them all. It took me most of an evening as I basted in a combination of smugness ("what a clever hybrid") and horror ("aaargh!").
The prospect of pricking out the seedlings is already bothering me and I haven't even harvested the seed yet. Something about counting chickens flashes through my mind but I really can't be doing
with chickens at the moment.
One of the pleasures of hybridising is the freedom to indulge a good idea. Commercially I would have to set out some objectives, establish criteria for selection, all the dodgy stuff. I say dodgy because nobody ever quite knows what will happen. If you decide in advance what you want you will waste the opportunity of what actually happens. Tinkering in the greenhouse is much more fun, idling the evenings spinning distant dreams.
I have no idea what I expected to get when I crossed D. Trata with D. Watsonii 'Candy'. Larger, pale hybrids would seem a reasonable expectation. Among the pinks I have a white one and a yellow, which is more than I could have hoped for. They have already been crossed with larger parents. Only time will tell if I made the right choices. In the end I did 61 hybrids this year.
By the time the Mahonia flowers fade I will have seed to sow and the horrifying reality will dawn on me.