City hosts new rose awards
National and international rose growers will find out this Sunday whose roses are best of all.
Over the past two years 40 roses submitted by growers and hybridisers from around the world have been grown and cared for by City Council staff at the New Zealand International Rose Trial Grounds in the Victoria Esplanade Gardens.
Chairman of the trial ground committee, John Ford says most of them 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 varieties have fragrant blooms than ever before.’’
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 awarded to roses which are available commercially, with special awards, the June Hocking Fragrance Award and the Nola Simpson Novelty Award for roses which have scored highly for fragrance or novelty. These awards are named for two local rosarians, June Hocking and Nola Simpson, who each gave over 30 years service to 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, while the Gold Star of the South Pacific is annually presented to the top rose, giving the breeder and agent instant recognition.
‘‘The awards reflect the reputation of the city and the Victoria Esplanade Gardens as an internationally recognised rose growing area,’’ John says . ‘‘Our publicity officer Hayden Foulds visited several rose trials in Europe this year and said that our trials in Palmerston North were right up there with them.’’
Hayden has been appointed deputy chairman of the World Federation of Rose Societies Rose Trials Committee.
Palmerston North has a world recognised international rose trial ground, and the assessment of the blooms grown there takes place this Sunday afternoon.