Fireball top rose
New rose varieties that produce lots of flowers and are less susceptible to disease topped the New Zealand Rose Society International Trial Awards in Palmerston North on Sunday.
‘Fireball’ an orange rose bred by Rob Somerfield of Glenavon Roses in Tauranga, took out the premium Gold Star of the South Pacific award.
‘‘I’m looking to breed healthy, compact plants with lots of flowers that people will enjoy growing in their gardens’’ Rob says.
Winner of five previous Gold Star awards, the breeder also picked up two certificates of merit for the shell pink ‘Shangri-La’ and an unnamed white floribunda rose. Fireball will be released onto the New Zealand market within the next two or three years.
Whanganui rose breeder and grower Bob Matthews of Matthews Nurseries was also awarded a certificate of merit for an un-named large flowering pink rose and collected a certificate of merit on behalf of Colin Dickson of Northern Ireland for the apricot bronze rose ‘Skychaser’.
John Ford, chairman of the International Rose Trial Grounds committee says the New Zealand Rose Society trials in the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Gardens, are now into their 45th year. "This was a very good trial with some excellent roses entered, with some unlucky to miss out on an award.’’