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Rose breeder’s legacy still found at Hamilton Gardens

The recent death of the world-renowned rose breeder Dr Sam McGredy at age 87 has been sadly acknowledged by Hamilton Gardens, where his legacy is still felt.

Dr McGredy died on 25 August, in Auckland.

“Sam McGredy came from a dynasty of rose cultivators and made a huge contribution to the world of roses and to Hamilton Gardens,” says Hamilton Gardens Director Peter Sergel.

“He raised the profile of the Rogers Rose Gardens to the point that the World Federation of Rose Societies recognised it as one of the best in the world.

“We were very honoured Dr McGredy named his last rose Hamilton Gardens before he retired.”

The Rogers Rose Gardens at Hamilton Gardens tells the story of the development of the modern rose through a series of themed areas displaying more than 4,000 roses.

This includes a bed dedicated to roses bred by Dr McGredy, such as Sexy Rexy, Paddy Stephens, My Girl, and Aotearoa, as well as a personal selection of some of the most influential roses of his career.

“Dr McGredy was also instrumental in bringing the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival to Hamilton,” says Dr Sergel.

“It’s been held here annually since 2002 and draws entrants from around the world.”

The Pacific Rose Bowl Festival takes place under the Pacific Accord of Friendship initiated by Dr McGredy with the objective of promoting roses worldwide. The accord includes trial gardens of new rose varieties in South Australia, California, and Japan, as well as at the Rogers Rose Garden at Hamilton Gardens.

Unlike most other rose competitions judged solely by experts, the New Zealand Rose of the Year is open to public vote. The Pacific Rose Bowl Festival will next be held at the Rogers Rose Gardens at Hamilton Gardens from Thursday 14 to Sunday 17 November 2019.


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