New roses to shine at International Rose Trials
National and international rose growers will shortly find out which of their roses has been judged the best grown at the New Zealand International Rose Trial Grounds in Palmerston North’s Victoria Esplanade Gardens.
Over the past two years, 40 roses submitted by growers and hybridisers from around the world have been grown and cared for by Palmerston North City Council staff at the trials. Most of these roses have never been seen before in New Zealand and represent the latest trends in the rose industry.
“Rose breeders worldwide are breeding roses with more flowers and improved disease tolerance, plus more and more varieties have fragrant blooms than ever before,” says John Ford, chairman of the Trial Ground Committee.
The roses are evaluated by a panel of 20 judges on characteristics including colour, fragrance, health, flower form and novelty over the two-year period.
Certificates of Merit are given to roses which accumulate 70 points or more and are available commercially with special awards made for roses which have scored highly for fragrance or novelty. These special awards, the June Hocking Fragrance Award and the Nola Simpson Novelty award are named after two well-known local rosarians, June Hocking and Nola Simpson, who each gave over 30 years service to the the trial grounds.
Any winning rose bred by a New Zealand amateur breeder is eligible for the Silver Star of the City of Palmerston North.
The Gold Star of the South Pacific award is presented annually to the top rose grown in the Esplanade’s International Rose Trial Grounds. John Ford says the Gold Star award gives the winning rose’s breeder and agent, instant recognition and will help market it throughout New Zealand.
“The ongoing awards reflect the reputation of the city and the Victoria Esplanade Gardens as an internationally recognised rose growing area” says John.
“In 2020, the rose trials will celebrate 50 years and a number of activities and events are planned, including hosting the National Rose Show, the launch of a new rose named for Palmerston North and the publication of a book on the rose trials”.
The four categories of awards were presented by Chairman of the Trials Committee John Ford and Mayor Grant Smith at the gazebo in the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Gardens on Sunday December 2 at 3pm