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A stand out rose soaring above the competition to be the Rose of 2016, Sunny Sky's solar performance has wowed the rose judging world for its ability to be a rising star and child of the earth at the same time. The basics are that it has been bred to properly withstand all of those dull rose afflictions that make you reach for a noxious spraygun or spend hours picking off rusted or spotted leaves, meaning that the plant is vigorous, tightly formed and has attractive deep green leaves. The sunny uplands are the tremendous and generous flowers - up to 10 cm across - that start life as a tight apricot coloured bud of thirty furled petals that loosen out to form a...well sunny-yellow starburst with a compact centre and slightly floppy, wavy outer petals that fade to a delicate sunset pink-peach colour over the season. A bit of judicious deadheading in mid-summer will ensure repeat flowering with blooms that last late into November. Unlike most hybrid teas, Sunny Sky has an airy, citrus fragrance that develops over time to a more familiar classic peach rose fragrance. And if you are sold on yellow roses, another one to try which has a darker yellow flower is the famous Graham Thomas.
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Roses are the backbone of the English garden look and Sunny Sky belongs in this tradition. Yellows always look fantastic together with blues and purples so Lavenders make a brilliant foil to all yellow roses, and Sunny Sky is no exception while also adding layers to your scented garden. A climber like the clematis Etoile Violette makes a heavenly backdrop, as would any of the Ceanothus shrubs. Rotating the other colour way, the fragrant white flowers of Philadelphus Belle Etoile or the magnificence of Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' (or any white hydrangea for that matter) would look like sun and stars together. Even when the roses are not in bloom, the healthy green foliage and hybrid tea habit add an architectural dimension to a border. And never forget that hybrid tea roses are an essential ingredient for any cutting garden to keep the florists in the family happy.
Hybrid tea roses are the most popular in the world and utilise the repeat flowering advantages of perpetual roses with the show-off virtues of fragrance and colour associated with tea roses. Sunny Sky was bred by Tim Hermann Kordes in Germany and was voted the Rose of the Year 2016 at the Hampton Court Flower show. Rose of the Year was set up in 1982 and involves a 2 year trial of a rose in up to 10 locations all around the United Kingdom.