Gardening /  Roses are red… yellow and apricot

The new Rosa Ali Baba is a striking climbing rose with clusters of salmon blooms and ideal for growing over an arch or trellis. Photo by Benedetta Rusconi

ROSES are the gardener’s favourite flowering plant and right now garden centres are swamped with roses looking for homes.

Cedric Bryant.

Before the 1990s, 95 per cent of all roses sold were developed by northern hemisphere breeders. However, not all roses performed particularly well in Australia’s extreme weather conditions.

To overcome this the National Rose Trial Gardens were established with the National Rose Society of Australia and the Rose Breeders’ Association in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens in 1996.

This was the first of its kind in Australia and certainly SA provided extreme heat conditions.

Trials are conducted over two growing seasons. Ten expert rosarians from various parts of the country examine the new roses every month of the two-year trial period and give points accordingly. The vigour of the roses, disease resistance and flowering are all assessed.

The best roses are announced in an award ceremony in October each year. This is the guarantee of the highest quality of roses when buying at a local garden centre.

Rosa Earth Angel is a hardy, hybrid tea rose with large, creamy pink blooms and a strong fragrance. Photo by Benedetta Rusconi

For example, at the Heritage Nursery, Yarralumla, more than 4500 roses have arrived with around 20 new releases for 2017. They have in stock 32 varieties of climbing roses, 10 varieties of old-fashioned roses (classified as those roses grown before 1926) and a staggering 143 varieties of general roses.

With such a mammoth list it’s possible to name only a few of the new varieties. Here’s a list from Wagner’s Rose Nursery, of SA, available from Heritage Nursery. Not all roses have strong fragrance and yet provide a magnificent sight in the garden:

  • Rosa Fragrant Peace new in 2017 and already tipped to be an all-time winner.

    Fragrant Peace is tipped to be an all-time winner. This exceptional new bush rose has large, golden yellow blooms tipped red along the edges similar to the original Peace rose.
  • Ali Baba is a striking climbing rose with clusters of salmon blooms and ideal for growing over an arch or trellis. When growing over an arch, there should be one rose each side of the arch.
  • Better Homes and Gardens is a hardy hybrid tea bush rose with large, creamy apricot blooms from spring to autumn. It has a strong fragrance.
  • Devoted to You is an easy care, lush, classic deep red rose with long stems and a medium fragrance.
  • Earth Angel is a hardy, hybrid tea rose with large, creamy pink blooms and a strong fragrance.

Jottings…

  • Select new roses by looking at their height and spread.
  • It is always more effective to have groups of roses of the same variety.
  • If growing David Austin English roses it’s preferable to keep them in a bed separate from other varieties due to their distinctive characteristics.
  • Watch for aphids on new growth. Use Maxicrop Long Life Organic Pyrethrum.

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