Rose breeders from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland dominated the awards presented at the trials with five of the six awards going to rose breeders in this part of the world.
Amateur rose breeder David Kenny, a retired school teacher from Tullow took home the main awards with the variety ‘FLORANZA® Eye Popping won the Gold Star of the South Pacific for the highest scoring rose on trial and the Nola Simpson Novelty Award for the most novel rose on trial. The free-flowering variety has masses of single yellow blooms with a purple ‘eye’ that fade to white. At times, the blooms completely smother the bush creating a colourful display. Great as a short standard, this rose is available from Amore Roses, Hamilton.
David Kenny also picked up a Certificate of Merit for the shrub rose PIXY® Lucky Stars. This rose has masses of velvety red blooms with a white ‘star’ in the centre of the blooms which smother the plant. Available from Amore Roses, Hamilton
Colin Dickson from Northern Ireland, the 6th generation of his family to breed roses picked up two Certificates of Merit. The eye catching FLORANZA® Bright & Breezy attracted a lot of attention and will be head turner in any garden with its clusters of orange blooms with a yellow reverse. This is already being sold by Amore Roses of Hamilton. A red shrub rose code named ‘Dicalfa’ was also awarded a Certificate of Merit and this will be released by Matthews Nurseries Ltd of Whanganui in the near future.
New Zealand rose breeder Rob Somerfield won a Certificate of Merit for ‘Attention Seeker’, an attractive apricot – orange rose that certainly caught a lot of attention in the trials. This will be released by Glenavon Roses of Tauranga in the near future.
The New Zealand Rose Society trials are now into their 51st year and test new varieties from New Zealand and international rose breeders and are judged over a period of two years by a panel of 20 judges. They assess the roses in areas 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 trial. The Regional Rose Show, scaled back from a National show due to Covid was a great success and included a display of past winning roses from 50 years of rose trials. A book on the trials history will be published in 2022.