Hybrid Teas, Please...
In my gardening youth I was warned off hybrid tea roses - I still don't grow very many in the Moosey Garden. Old habits, old prejudices... So where did I get these ideas from? Some idealistic cottage gardener maybe? I've been brainwashed!
- Hybrid tea roses need serious pruning - aargh! And they need serious spraying - a louder aargh!
- And if YOU don't prune or spray them properly, then they fail. Dismally.
- And then YOU are considered a hopeless, failure of a gardener. YOU didn't take hybrid tea roses seriously enough. Naughty!
Little wonder that I never wanted any hybrid tea roses - they sounded far too scary for a sensitive gardening soul like me. Anyway, as a junior gardener I was deeply in love with David Austin's English varieties.
Those hybrid teas weren't romantic enough - they needed a fussy, organised, non-random gardener to grow them, and that gardener wasn't me. I was a free spirit. And I certainly didn't want my roses creating any gardening guilt trips!
Slowly but surely, I started rescuing hybrid teas from bargain bins - enter two sad, bare-rooted Queen Elizabeths, and others whose names I can't remember. Then an incredibly artistic friend recommended Kronenburg - it was the only rose she allowed in her eclectic, arty garden. I was suitably impressed, and bought two from a rose nursery.
Retirement Home in the Country
Other hybrid teas were offered a good retirement home in the country. I bought a Moody Blues because I liked the name - and a creamy-white Elena from the local hardware store...
Madame Caroline Testout
I remember choosing two Madame Caroline Testout climbing roses for an archway, reading she was the mother of all modern hybrid teas, and having second thoughts. Hmm... I'm glad I persevered - she's a real beauty.
Favourite Roses List
Few of my hybrid teas have ever made the rose lists of my favourites. One which should is Paddy Stephens, bred by New Zealander Sam McGredy.
Paddy Stephens Rose
Paddy grows outside my glass-house door in front of a robust silver Astelia, and I'm happy to say I've never seriously pruned or seriously sprayed him! He's healthy and happy - a much-loved member of my rose family, and I grow him guilt-free. Phew!