NZ Rose Trial Results 2019

By Hayden Foulds

A rose named for the breeder’s mother topped the list of awards presented at the New Zealand Rose Society International Rose Trial Grounds in Palmerston North earlier this month.

Tauranga rose breeder Rob Somerfield, from Rob Somerfield Roses, topped the trials with his ‘Grandma’s Rose’ which won the Gold Star of the South Pacific, the top award at the trial grounds. “The name is a tribute to my mother from her grandchildren, they felt it was her colour,” Rob said.

Grandma’s Rose, bred by Rob Somerfield, is the winner of the 2019 Gold Star of the South Pacific. Photo: Hayden Foulds

Rob, who also did well at the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival in November, also received a Certificate of Merit for the cream variety ‘Old Friends’. Both his roses will be introduced to the market in the next couple of years.

Berry Nice, bred by Bob Matthews of Whanganui, received a Certificate of Merit. Photo: Matthews Nurseries

Certificates of Merit were also awarded to the magenta pink ‘Berry Nice’ bred by Bob Matthews of Matthews Nurseries Ltd in Whanganui and to the yellow ‘Lemon Ruffles’, bred by Canadian breeder Brad Jalbert and entered by Amore Roses of Hamilton. This is the first time a Canada-bred rose has won an award at the trials. Both these varieties are already on the market in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Rose Society trials are now into their 49th year and test new varieties from New Zealand and international rose breeders and are assessed over 2 years by a panel of 20 judges who mark for such as freedom of flowering, health, plant quality, flower quality and fragrance.

At the conclusion of each trial, those roses which have gained an average of 70% are recognised with awards and reflect the consistently high performance that they have achieved during the trial period.

In 2020, the trials celebrate their 50th anniversary and a number of activities and events are planned to mark this occasion, including the National Rose Show being held in Palmerston North, the naming of a new rose for the city and the publication of a book on the rose trials.

2018 NZ Rose Trials Awards

By Hayden Foulds

The annual New Zealand Rose Society International Rose Trial Ground awards were announced in Palmerston North at the beginning of December.

Tauranga rose breeder Rob Somerfield (Glenavon Roses) took the top prize –
the Gold Star of the South Pacific – with Ladies Night, which has pink blooms ageing to cerise. 

Rob Somerfield with Ladies Night at the trial grounds in Palmerston North. Photo: Hayden Foulds

Rob also received the World Federation of Rose Societies People’s Choice Award for the orange-red Amanda’s Choice, and Certificates of Merit for the pink French Connection and apricot Champagne Breakfast.

Champagne Breakfast, bred by Rob Somerfield. Photo: Hayden Foulds

The other Certificate of Merit was presented to Whanganui rose breeder Bob Matthews (Matthews Nurseries Ltd) for the yellow My Dad – Bob is also the breeder of the coral-pink My Mum, and My Dad has been bred from that.

My Dad, bred by Bob Matthews. Photo: Hayden Foulds

The New Zealand Rose Society trials are now into their 48th year and test new varieties from New Zealand and international rose breeders. The trial roses are judged over a period of 2 years by a panel of 20 judges who assess such things as freedom of flowering, plant health, flower quality and fragrance.

At the conclusion of each 2-year trial, those roses which have gained an average of 70% are recognised with awards and reflect the consistently high performance that they have achieved during the trial.

In 2020, the trials celebrate their 50th anniversary and a number of activities and events are planned to mark this occasion including the hosting of the National Rose Show in Palmerston North, the naming of a new rose for city and the publication of a book on the rose trials.

Friday roundup

The 2018 New Zealand Rose Review is now available ($9.50 within NZ) and well worth a look. The publication pulls together reviews from various spots around the country – the plants are reviewed for 5 years before moving to the ‘final analysis’ section – offering gardeners some invaluable information before making a selection.

All seven reviewers – from Northland to South Canterbury – rate the white hybrid tea Pope John Paul II (released in 2006 by American breeder Dr Keith Zary) for its fragrance and speed of repeat flowering but three mention that a single drop of moisture will ruin the blooms.

2018 rose review

The cover shows Beach Hop, a new patio standard rose for 2018. Image: Courtesy of Hayden Foulds

All four reviewers (from Auckland to Otago) like the deep pink floribunda Caroline Bay (released in 2011 by Gisborne’s Mike Athy) for its floral display and good health, while two reviewers (of three) say the flowers of Tickled Pink (released in 2011 by Whanganui’s Bob Matthews) have weak necks.

The reviews also cover shrub roses, miniature and patio types and climbers, plus there are lists of favourite roses as chosen by NZ Rose Society members – Raspberry Ice has been the favourite floribunda for 26 years! An item of note on this list is that Iceberg has dropped off to be replaced by the Tauranga-bred Wild Cherry.

Paddy Stephens tops both the favourite HT (as she’s done for 14 years) and the healthiest rose lists.

Tauranga City Council is demanding $314 annual rent from Bayfair Community Garden, a group of volunteers who donate all their produce to the city’s Foodbank. However, one councillor is listening to the backlash and is now bleating (on her Facebook page, no less) that councillors didn’t look at who the 55 affected organisations were. They just passed the motion!

The Bayfair gardens run on the smell of an oily tag – and sometimes even less than that – and good on Jo Stock, the indefatigable co-ordinator, for not wanting to a donor to pay the rent. “It feels unethical to me to accept money from donors and give it straight to the council.”

Reports this week on studies in France reveal an alarming decline in bird numbers in farming areas – populations hit by large areas of monoculture (encouraged by EU policy) and a dramatic fall in insect numbers.

The Guardian article says that despite the French government aspiring to halve pesticide use by 2020, sales have climbed, according to EU figures.

“All birds are dependant on insects in one way or another,” said Dr Benoit Fontaine, co-author of one of the studies. “Even granivorous birds feed their chicks insects and birds of prey eat birds that eat insects. If you lose 80% of what you eat you cannot sustain a stable population.”

Whanganui Regional Museum curator of natural history Mike Dickison last year spoke to Jesse Mulligan on Radio NZ about how in the last decade or two there are many fewer dead insects on our car windscreens and in radiators and why that is. Listen to the 13-minute interview.

And if anyone would like to buy the Australian Landscape Conference, it’s for sale! Warwick and Sue Forge say this year’s event (March 23-27 in Melbourne) will likely be their last.

“From our first conference in 2002, they have grown steadily with the range of speakers, workshops, delegates and in many other ways. Attendances now range from 650 to 750 delegates from Australia and overseas. Overseas speakers tell us the conference is without equal anywhere in the world.”

I attended the last one held in New Zealand and the following one in Melbourne and can vouch for the quality of the event.

NZ Rose Trial Winners

By Hayden Foulds

Quintessential, a free-flowering, healthy pink rose has taken the top award at the New Zealand Rose Society International Rose Trial Awards in Palmerston North.

Rob Somerfield with his award-winning rose Quintessential. Photo: Hayden Foulds

Bred by Tauranga’s Rob Somerfield (Glenavon Roses), Quintessential not only received the Gold Star of the South Pacific last weekend, it was also the pick of invited guests who voted it the best-looking rose in the trial before the awards were announced.

“It’s been a favourite of mine for a while” Rob says of the rose, which will be released in New Zealand within the next two or three years.

Rob,  who now has seven Gold Stars, also received a Certificate of Merit for the patio rose Purple Pizzazz.

Purple Pizzazz, bred by Rob Somerfield. Photo: Hayden Foulds

The Nola Simpson Novelty Award went to Eye of the Tiger, a single yellow bloom with a striking red ‘eye’ bred by Chris Warner of England and entered by Tasman Bay Roses of Motueka.

Eye of the tiger

Eye of the Tiger. Photo: Hayden Foulds

 

Wanganui rose breeder and grower Bob Matthews (Matthews Nurseries) won a Certificate of Merit for an un-named cluster-flowering pink rose with very good health.

This unnamed pale pink rose bred by Bob Matthews is showing great health characteristics. Photo: Hayden Foulds

Matthias Meilland, a member of the renowned Meilland rose-breeding family of France, presented an interesting lecture on how new roses are developed and commercialised around the world and spoke of the importance of rose trials for testing and promoting new rose varieties. Mr Meilland planted a Peace rose (bred by his grandfather) close to the trial beds in the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Gardens, part of the city’s Victoria Esplanade Gardens.

The New Zealand Rose Society trials are now into their 46th year and test new varieties from New Zealand and international rose breeders and are assessed over two years by a panel of 20 judges. Those roses which have gained an average of 70% are recognised with awards to reflect the consistently high performance they have achieved during the trial period.

If you’re interested in how new roses do in your part of the country, get hold of a copy of the New Zealand Rose Review – this year’s edition includes reports on 91 newer-variety roses, the most ever.

Produced by the New Zealand Rose Society with leading rose nurseries and breeders advertising their latest releases, the full-colour guide also features the favourite roses of NZRS members, as well as the winning roses from trials in Palmerston North and Hamilton.

The New Zealand Rose Review 2016-17 is $9.50 (including postage). For purchase details go to the New Zealand Rose Society website or contact the society’s secretary, Heather Macdonell, phone/fax 06 329 2700.

Garden & Artfest: Day 1

Hard to think how to categorise the weather today – sometimes damp, occasionally sunny, a bit chilly, a little sun. Spring, in other words. I spent the morning at the festival’s Hub at The Lakes, helping out on the Tauranga Orchid Society stand and selling my calendars. One calendar went to a chap from Singapore who was delighted to learn that I’d taken all the photos myself – and promptly got me to autograph it!

The ground is very spongy and soggy at The Hub – a pair of ducks were busy dabbling across the central lawn and its ponds this morning – so festival director John Beech, Roger Allen from the bromeliad stand and a couple of other blokes laid some wood chips on weed matting to create a stable path in front of the marquees where the orchids and bromeliads are sited. And I can report that the ‘luxury’ Portaloos are indeed a cut above!

Zipped off around a few gardens this afternoon and am looking forward to a full day out tomorrow. (The Vege Grower will be at The Hub with my calendars, if you’re interested.)

My Mum, a rose bred by Bob Matthews of Wanganui, is in perfect bloom in the garden of Colleen Thwaites. Photo: Sandra Simpson

The enticing view from the driveway of a Plummer’s Point garden, which reveals itself to be full of flowers and colour against a background of established natives or the estuary. (Note the sky – it was just about to rain, again.) Photo: Sandra Simpson

Echoing detail between the land and the jetty. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Laburnum in flower at Alf Mundt’s garden. Photo: Sandra Simpson

A Japanese maple (left) provides a good colour foil to native horopito in Alf Mundt’s garden. Photo: Sandra Simpson

 

Rose trial results & conference note

A fragrant dusky-red climbing rose has been awarded the top prize at the New Zealand Rose Society International Trial Ground Awards in Palmerston North.

Red Flame received the Gold Star of the South Pacific and the June Hocking Fragrance Award.

Bred by Michel Adam of France, Red Flame was entered by his New Zealand agents, Bob and Cath Matthews of Matthews Nurseries (Wanganui) who had trialled the rose for several years before entering it. Red Flame is available in garden centres and nurseries.

Two un-named roses from Bob’s own breeding programme received Certificates of Merit. Both are lemon yellow and have masses of bloom on compact, healthy plants.

Tauranga rose breeder Rob Somerfield (Glenavon Roses) received a Certificate of Merit for an un-named rose with clusters of blooms that are medium-pink with a lighter centre. It is tall growing and very healthy.

All three of the winning Kiwi roses will be released in the next two to three years.

The New Zealand Rose Society trials are now into their 42nd year and are located in the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Gardens in The Esplanade gardens in Palmerston North.

The trials test new varieties from New Zealand and international rose breeders and are assessed over two years by a panel of 20. The judges look at freedom of flowering, health, plant quality, flower quality and fragrance.

At the conclusion of each trial, those roses which have gained an average of 70% are recognised with awards.