Rob, mildew is a new one to me since moving to Central TX. (Never an issue on the hot, rainy Gulf Coast.) I don't know much about such, but I've wondered if using minis such as e.g. a Poulsen Greenhouse rose (generally requiring a certain mildew resistance due to their cultivation) such as one might find at a grocery store (Aldershot Nursery stuff) could be a plausible mate to reduce mildew, or if such would present a host of other issues. I've wondered too if some of Poulsen's smaller garden roses (e.g. the "Courtyard" collection) might be derived from miniatures that didn't make the mini cut, and might have similar genetics to the mildew resistant lines. I don't know, but I do see the dirt-cheap miniatures on sale from time to time at my grocery store, and I have one Courtyard rose that has never shown mildew (though it is not immune to BS). Curious as to other's thoughts/reactions to the idea...
(Peach Drift is nonetheless a very nice rose in my garden, and one of my favorites, BTW. It is fragrant to boot.)
Kim, I have wondered about going back to some historic crosses and recreating them substituting one newer, "improved" parent to pair with an older proven parent. I enjoy many of the teas, but that takes things further back than I have researched. I wonder if issues such as floppy necks and twiggy or gangly growth can be quickly overcome in a cross or two. Do you see issues you are concerned with, and do you feel they can be overcome pretty quickly?
And do you want cuttings of G. Nabbonand, or Thomasville Old Gold? They're both very lightly thorned at worst, in my garden.
[size=small][color=#669966]Zone 8 / Sunset Zn 30 (Austin, TX -- formerly New Orleans, LA)[/color][/size]