Famous writer Dale Carnegie once said, “We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.” This quote is perfect for Denton couple James (Jim) and Janet Herbison, who, 13 years ago, dreamed of a magical rose garden, built it, and called it their home. Now, they are enjoying every bit of their lives with a thousand bright roses blooming outside their windows. The Herbisons not only have made their lives as beautiful as roses. They’re giving Texans a reason to gift a smile. In this edition, we’re talking about the story of how James and Janet turned their passion for roses into a legacy.
Growing up on a farm in Mississippi, James cultivated his love for the outdoors. Roses were his all-time favorite flowers. Decades later, when he owned a four-acre lot on Haggard Lane in the heart of Denton, he started grafting roses and creating hybrids. Realizing the space would work for more than just roses, the Herbison family decided to turn the land into a fruit farm as well. Currently, Gemini Peach and Rose Farm have peach, plum, pear trees, and a thousand rose bushes. The farm sells cut roses, rose bushes, and the right-to-name a rose from their large number of new and unique hybridized roses. James is a consulting rosarian certified by the American Rose Society. He is also a retired engineer. Janet has majored in home economics.
The Herbisons’ haven lets families walk through hundreds of lovely roses, have a picnic, and pick juicy peaches. In the Spring, there are blackberries and blueberries as well. They also grow tomatoes and bell peppers for sale. Gemini has become many families’ favorite farm for its vibrant ambiance, cordial owners, and a perfect place for photoshoots. The farm has a 250-year-old Elm tree as one of the attractions.
What makes Gemini farm unique is an interesting story. You can give a name to one of their new and unique hybridized varieties of roses. This could be a unique surprise gift for near and dear ones for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, festivals, etc., or you just don’t need any occasion to make a loved one feel special. A hybridized rose could be named after a living or a deceased loved one. Under a name-a-rose package, one can select from a variety of over 600 completely unique hybridized roses. The selected rose is registered with the American Rose Society using the name that you have chosen before you receive the delivery of two rose bushes. Queen Elizabeth, President Lincoln, Elizabeth Taylor, Dolly Parton, Princess Diana, etc., are some of the famous people who have roses named after them. Many roses are also named after Jim and Janet’s family members.
For each unique hybridized rose, it costs $1,000 including the delivery fee for two rose bushes. One can order more bushes for an extra fee of $20 per rose bush. After you name your rose, that rose will only be sold under the name that you have chosen and the rose can never be renamed.
Jim’s grafting skill has made their rose business what it is today. Starting with about three or four months to complete a graft he creates, there’s a 12-step process to work on one hybrid rose. Hybridization takes time, energy, and a lot of patience. However, when the results bloom on their farm, the Herbison duo feels like it’s all worth it! For his creative contribution towards preservation and enhancement of rose species, Jim has won the Dallas Rose Show five times and the Fort Worth Rose Show four times for the best hybrid tea. Jim is a Master Rosarian with the Dallas Rose Society.
The Herbisons also help local charities with fundraisers by donating bouquets of roses, gift certificates for rose bushes, and cut roses. They also give roses to the sick, homebound, and people in nursing homes. Jim and Janet are amazing human beings who have gifted Denton people such a precious land of roses. Denton County government has also worked with the farm to beautify Denton’s downtown square with new flowers.
When we asked Jim if he has any message for locals, so sweetly he said, all he wants is to welcome people to their home of roses and experience the beauty of nature. Long live their legacy!
photos courtesy Jim Herbison