The latter part of last summer was hot and droughty in Westminster. I went to look at a garden, locally, on top of a windy hill that is quite exposed to the worst of winter’s harshness. Included was a small rose garden. Due to the weather and some neglect, all of the roses looked poor, except blooming tea balls one. This was a yellow hybrid tea, fully foliated and loaded with buds about to unfurl, still bearing the remnants of what was obviously a heavy spring and early summer bloom. It had about eight husky canes and stood every bit of 5 feet tall. As a class, yellow hybrid teas tend to be the most difficult of all. In general they don’t have a strong constitution. They seem particularly prone to winter kill. For years I have been searching for a good yellow hybrid tea and to stumble across one so serendipitously is truly amazing. The homeowner said the rose was about three or four years old and that this was her best rose; so easy to grow and so reliable. With some investigating the rose turned out to be Aperitif, not budded but growing on its own root. Aperitif is a recent introduction from New Zealand. We checked further and found that in just a few years, Aperitif has developed quite a worldwide reputation for vigor and reliability.
Aperitif has glowing, well-formed, yellow blooms on long, strong stems. The four and a half inch blooms are exquisite, with up to 30 petals and a light fragrance. The long stems, which will reach 18 to 22 inches, make Aperitif an exceptional addition to floral arrangements. The bush is very vigorous and will grow easily in the garden, reaching a height of 60 inches. The glossy, medium dark foliage is quite disease resistant.