City hosts new rose awards

The Tribune (NZ) - - GARDENING - The awards will be pre­sented by John and coun­cil­lor An­nette Nixon at the Du­gald Macken­zie Rose Gar­dens this Sun­day De­cem­ber 6 at 2pm.

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.

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