Palmerston North rose trial winners and looking ahead

Grandmas Rose
Grandmas Rose

The final event on the rose calendar for 2019 was the presentation of the awards from the New Zealand Rose Society trials held in Palmerston North. The awards were a culmination of the last two years of trialling and judging by a panel of rosarians and rose lovers alike who assess the roses from November until April.  This ensures the roses on trial are seen throughout the growing season at their best (and worst).

Berry Nice 1
Berry Nice

The top award of the trials, the Gold Star of the South Pacific for the highest scoring rose on trial went to ‘Grandma’s Rose’, bred by Rob Somerfield and entered by Glenavon Roses of Tauranga. Named for Rob’s mother, the burgundy coloured blooms had a noticeable scent as well and are good for picking.  One to watch out for when released in the next year or two. Also, a winner from Rob was ‘Old Friends’ with masses of cream blooms which made for a great display, this was a Certificate of Merit winner and it will also be released in the next year or two.

Pride of Palmy IMG 2484 Copy
Pride of Palmy

A Certificate of Merit was also awarded to ‘Berry Nice’ bred by Bob Matthews and entered by Matthews Nurseries Ltd of Wanganui. A compact, free-flowering and very healthy variety, it looked a picture with its berry coloured blooms. The final Certificate of Merit went to ‘Lemon Ruffles’ bred by Canadian breeder Brad Jalbert and entered by Amore Roses of Hamilton. It looked great on awards day with its lemon-yellow blooms making a great splash of colour. Both these two roses are currently on the market through their respective entrants.

Lemon Ruffles
Lemon Ruffles

Next year the trials celebrate their 50th year and a number of things are being planned to celebrate this occasion. These include the hosting of the National Spring Rose Show and Convention in Palmerston North (November 28th and 29th), the publication of a book on the trials and the launch of a new rose named for Palmerston North which will be called ‘Pride of Palmy’. The first release of this rose will be at the National Show in Palmerston North but there will be very limited numbers.

Grandmas Rose
Grandma’s Rose

Also on the horizon for rose lovers is the World Rose Convention being held 21st – 28th October in Adelaide. There will be tours, lectures and a large rose show and exhibition plus pre and post tours around Australia. There will also be a ‘post’ post-tour heading our way to the Upper North Island in early November.

Old Friends
Old Friends

So here’s to 2020 and many more beautiful roses to enjoy in our gardens.

In the Rose Garden for January:

  • Water, water, water if the weather is hot and dry. One good application a week is better than a flick with the hose every second day. Keep the foliage dry if you can as this helps reduce disease.
  • Keep weeds under control as they can soon get away with a bit of warmth and moisture.
  • Continue to de-head your roses. Not only does it make the garden look tidier, it promotes the production of new flowers.
  • If you have been away and come home to your roses looking less than desirable, don’t despair. You can do a summer trim where all growth is cut back to a good strong bud, fertilise them and keep them well watered so you get good strong growth coming away and a good display of blooms in March.

By Hayden Foulds

Hayden also serves as Deputy Chairman of the World Federation of Rose Societies Rose Trials Committee amongst other rose endeavours. 

Read more from Hayden here.