The first hybrid tea bloom of the year is always exciting in the high desert. One never knows exactly when to expect it, nor what it will look like. What have the late cold spells and especially the prolonged high winds done to the buds? Have thrips already damaged the bloom (for those of us who don’t like to spray, or spray very little)?
My first hybrid tea bloom this year was Gemini, one of my very favorite hybrid teas that thrives in the Desert Southwest. Someone once asked me how I could love a rose that did not have much of a scent. Take a look:
(Gemini, Keith Zary hybridizer, AARS 2000)
What is not to love? This rose blooms prolifically from first bloom to frost, has essentially disease-free foliage, and perfectly formed blooms.
According to Bob Martin, well-known rosarian, it was the top exhibition hybrid tea in 2005 (the 2006 data has not yet been provided). Also check here.
The fact that it is a top exhibition hybrid tea should not frighten away desert gardeners who just want a nice rose for the garden. This is a rose that thrives in the Southwest, is relatively disease-free, has many beautiful blooms that hold their size even in the heat, and can provide a lot of pleasure with routine care.
It is a hybrid tea that I can recommend for anyone in the Southwest who wants to grow a great rose!