It has been a busy few weeks for those in the world of roses with the main bloom season across much of the country. After the wet spring, the roses started opening like mad at the start of November and have kept on going over the last few weeks. The weather has also been great although after wanting no more rain, now parts of the country are drying out very quickly
November is the month where roses start coming into bloom over much of the country and for rose enthusiasts, it is a very busy time of the year with rose shows and rose trials to attend.
In mid-November, the New Zealand Rose of the Year trials were held at Rogers Rose Garden, part of the popular visitor attraction Hamilton Gardens. The roses were looking stunning for the visitors to the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival who were able to vote for what they thought were the best looking roses in the trials.The overall winner of the New Zealand Rose of the Year and also voted by local school children as their most favourite rose was ‘Best Wishes, a yellow floribunda bred by Colin Dickson from Northern Ireland. This rose sparkled in the gardens and was a deserving winner. Yellow was also the colour of the Best Hybrid Tea, ‘St Margaret’s Gold’ from Tantau of Germany while the white floribunda ‘Scott Base’ from Rob Somerfield won Best Floribunda. Rob also won the Best New Zealand Raised Rose with the floribunda ‘Little Miss Perfect’
The overall winner of the New Zealand Rose of the Year and also voted by local school children as their most favourite rose was ‘Best Wishes, a yellow floribunda bred by Colin Dickson from Northern Ireland. This rose sparkled in the gardens and was a deserving winner. Yellow was also the colour of the Best Hybrid Tea, ‘St Margaret’s Gold’ from Tantau of Germany while the white floribunda ‘Scott Base’ from Rob Somerfield won Best Floribunda. Rob also won the Best New Zealand Raised Rose with the floribunda ‘Little Miss Perfect’
Pink was also a popular colour with the Best Climber going to ‘All My Love’ bred by New Zealand Rose Society President Doug Grant of Pukekohe and the Best Shrub Rose, a new category at the trials, going to ‘Strawberry Hill’ bred by David Austin of England. The Most Fragrant Rose was awarded to ‘Magnifi-scent’ bred by Brad Jalbert of Canada. All these roses are available from garden centres and specialist rose nurseries.
The following week, the National Spring Rose Show and Convention was held in Whangarei hosted by the Northland Rose Society who did a fantastic job of organising a great weekend. The theme of the show was ‘Glitz and Glamour’ and there were some magnificent displays around this theme. The Champion of Champions for large roses went to an exhibition bloom of ‘Sylvia’ exhibited by Janice Walker from the Northland Rose Society who also won the miniature type Champion of Champions with an exhibition bloom of ‘Stephanie’. Derrol and Helen White won the prize for the best exhibit in the special classes.
The latest winners from the New Zealand Rose Society International Rose Trials in Palmerston North have also just been presented. It was a clean sweep for Tauranga Rose Breeder Rob Somerfield who not only won the top award of the trials, the Gold Star of the South Pacific for the cardinal red floribunda ‘Love Bug’ but also Certificates of Merit for the Hybrid Teas ‘Night Light’ (lemon) and ‘Tabasco’ (orange red) and the floribunda ‘Strawberry Blonde’ (apricot) All these varieties will be released in the next two or three years. The Dugald Mackenzie Rose Gardens where the trials are located were looking stunning for the awards presentation.
Well thats it for 2017, I would like to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2018
In the Rose Garden for December
- Enjoy the blooms, either in the garden or bring a bunch inside. Remember take a bucket of water to the roses (not the other way around) and recut stems under water.
- Dehead, dehead, dehead. Not only does the garden tidy, it also helps to encourage more blooms to be produced.
- Water if the weather remains dry. Lack of water causes plants to get stressed and become susceptible to disease. When watering, one good deep soaking at the roots is better than a quick, light flick with the hose.
- Keep the weeds at bay.
- If you are on holiday, visit one of the many fine public rose gardens around the country and see what is looking good.
By Hayden Foulds
Hayden also serves as Deputy Chairman of the World Federation of Rose Societies Rose Trials Committee amongst other rose endeavors.