There is a certain rose in my garden that I love to see blooming. Of course, I love to see any of them bloom, and they each have a special charm, but this rose amazes me each time it blooms. It's so amazing because the blooms are giant! And they are interesting. And it has a fun name! Don't you just love a rose with a fun name?
This rose is 'Gee Whiz'. It was named Gee Whiz because the breeder, Dr. Griffith Buck, noticed that every time someone walked by this rose, they exclaimed "Gee Whiz"! Yes, it's that surprising.
You see, the rose is speckled. Like a trout. The official description is "streaked and freckled".
And the blooms are huge! I actually got the ruler out and measured the bloom below. It was 6 inches across. Now, that's one big rose! In fact, 'Paul Neyron' is well known as a rose with one of the largest blooms, and they are also generally 6 inches across.
I couldn't find a lot of information on Gee Whiz, so I'll give the information on this rose in my own experience. Remember, your experience may be completely different. Not the most prolific bloomer, when Gee Whiz does bloom, it's worth the wait. It definitely stands out, and its bloom is unmistakeable. It does seem to get a bit of blackspot on it, but I don't spray, so I generally overlook that. It has a soft, sweet fragrance. It will withstand Iowa winters, so try it if you're in zones 4 or 5. It took the Texas heat this summer, so I'd give it a try in zones 9 or even 10.
The photos that have more of a pink tone to them were taken this week. The ones with the more orange tone were taken this past summer. You can see how the color fades in high heat. This is not unusual, and most roses will fade if temperatures are very high for a sustained period.
So, if you want a rose with a big bloom, try Gee Whiz. If you want a rose that's different - speckled, and spectacular - try Gee Whiz. If you want a rose that will definitely get noticed, try Gee Whiz!
Gee whiz, what have you got to lose?