Sunday, June 1, 2014

More miracles at the Biltmore International Rose Trials

Ta da, this year's big winner at Biltmore

Last year, a part-time hybridizer made history when one of his creations won Best in Show at the first Biltmore International Rose Trials competition in Asheville, North Carolina.

Mike Athy of Gisborne, New Zealand entered his climbing/groundcover rose (temporarily known as Athyfalaa) in 2011 and after eight rounds of judging over two years it was declared the winner in five of eleven categories.

This year another amateur, Robert Neal Rippetoe, took top honors with “Miracle on the Hudson”, a vibrant shrub named to salute the Captain, crew and passengers of US Airways Flight 1549. Rippetoe’s rose also won for Best Shrub Rose, Best Growth Habit and Most Disease Resistant. Some of his other introductions include “Buttercream”, “June Anne” and “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

The Biltmore Rose Garden was nothing less than spectacular
This is the second year Biltmore’s Rose Garden has been home to the trials where more than 90 varieties from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by Biltmore Rosarian Lucas Jacks (he is a certified genius) and his team of horticulturalists.

No fungicides or insecticides are used on these roses and any entry that displays disease over 25% of the bush is removed from the competition.

Each trial lasts two years and a permanent jury judges the roses four times annually. I am fortunate to be on that permanent panel (despite the fact it can be mighty cold out in the gardens in mid-January.) 

The Biltmore Estate and its glorious gardens are a must-see

 The roses judged this year were from Canada, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Germany, the UK and the United States. 29 roses planted in 2012 made it to the finals (the roses are displayed by a numerical code and names are not known to the judges.) An international panel from across the rose world joined our permanent group to select the pick of the posies.

Lest you think only newbies are snapping up awards, many luminaries of rosedom also made the head table. 

Sweet Drift

Tequila Supreme
Meilland of France won Best Groundcover with “Sweet Drift”, Best Floribunda with “Tequila Supreme” and Best Hybrid Tea with “Francis Meilland.”

“Munstead Wood” hybridized by David Austin English Roses was named Most Fragrant.
My Munstead Woods are almost always in bloom

And the stunner “Bajazzo” from Kordes of Germany won Best Climber.

Bajazzo bewitched judges

New rose varieties are planted for the trials each May. These bushes are evaluated for garden performance, fragrance, disease resistance and usability in a variety of landscape situations. The next awards will be in 2015 for the trials planted in 2013.

I judged the 2013 hopefuls as part of my duties Saturday.

I saw some amazing entries, so I fully expect more wonderous events to materialize next May.


The Redneck Rosarian said...

The roses in this garden were spectacular. Bajazzo is on its way to my garden. Count me among the bewitched!

Lynn Hunt said...

I have one coming as well, Chris! We will compare notes and I'm sure we'll both be bewitched!!

San Francisco Rose Society said...

May I reprint this blog post in our San Francisco Rose Society monthly newsletter?


LeeAnn Donnelly said...

Lynn, thank you so much for this post. I hope you are doing well! Come visit our summer gardens! - LeeAnn at Biltmore

Sunil Patel said...

Hi Lynn, Munstead Wood is on my shopping list, I'm encouraged about it's fragrance and I don't envy you having to judge winners from roses of such high standards. The garden itself looks incredible, really spectacular in full bloom.

Lynn Hunt said...

LeeAnn, it is always a pleasure and honor to visit Biltmore. I will be back soon!

Lynn Hunt said...

Sunil, so glad you enjoyed your visit. You must go in person one day! You will love Munstead.

Les said...

This year's big winner reminds me more of dianthus than a rose.

Lynn Hunt said...

It may have just been that photo, Les. The form was much like the wonderful shrub rose Sally Holmes.

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