The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” aptly describes what may be in store for this largest group of rose hybrids ever created. Hybrid Teas have held sway in the public favor for so long that they have eclipsed all the other classes. With the recent renaissance of interest in old roses, and with the advent of David Austin’s widely popular English roses, Hybrid Teas have begun to lose their grip on gardeners. Many aficionados of old-fashioned roses will have nothing to do with HTs, and this may be the start of a wider rejection of the class. Few rose collectors bother with them, and the older varieties are largely being conserved in public gardens, where space is in demand for old roses and English roses. It is ironic that a decade ago we were fighting for the old roses and today we spend our energy championing the preservation of old HTs and Floribundas.
Tastes in color change too; just as mauve and purple fell out of favor early in this century, orange and flame seem endangered today. Before you give up on them, grow a few of the older Pernetianas, especially those of hybridist Pedro Dot, who selected and bred for rich and complex mixtures of colors in warm shades.