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.