New roses bloom at international trials
National and international rose growers will learn on Sunday which of the new rose varieties grown in Palmerston North have been judged the best.
Over the past two years, 40 roses submitted by growers and hybridisers from around the world have been cared for by city council staff at the New Zealand International Rose Trial Grounds in the city’s Victoria Esplanade.
John Ford, chairman of the trial ground committee, said the annual awards reflected the reputation of the city and its Esplanade as an internationally recognised rose growing area.
Attending the presentation will be Matthias Meilland from the famous French rose breeding company, Meilland International.
Meilland, the company’s head of international public relations, is a sixth generation representative of the family business.
‘Peace’, the world’s best known rose, was bred by Meilland’s grandfather, Francis.
Meilland will present a postlunch lecture prior to the presentations in the Esplanade’s Manawaroa Pavilion.
Ford said most of the new blooms in the rose trial grounds had never been seen before in New Zealand and represented the latest trends in the rose industry.
‘‘Rose breeders worldwide are breeding roses with more flowers
‘‘Rose breeders worldwide are breeding roses with more flowers and improved disease tolerance.’’ John Ford
and improved disease tolerance, plus more and more varieties than ever before have fragrant blooms.’’
The roses were evaluated over the two year period by a panel of 20 judges on characteristics that include colour, fragrance, health, flower form, and novelty.
The top rose wins the Gold Star of the South Pacific, an award which would help the breeder and agent market it throughout New Zealand.
The other major award is the Silver Star of the City of Palmerston North which goes to any winning rose bred by a New Zealand amateur breeder.
Two merit awards, the June Hocking Fragrance Award and the Nola Simpson Novelty Award, named for two well-known local rosarians, will also be presented.
Ford will be joined at the gazebo in the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Gardens by Palmerston North city councillor Brett Barrett to make the announcements and presentations on Sunday at 2.30pm.
Kiwi rose breeder Rob Somerfield won the Gold Star of the South Pacific award last year for ‘Fireball’.