Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One of the oldest names in rosedom wins the 2015 Biltmore International Trials

The fabulous Biltmore Rose Garden hosts the International Trials

A part-time hybridizer made history in 2013 when one of his creations won the George and Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose at the first Biltmore International Rose Trials competition held 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. Another of his roses was the second highest scorer in the trial.

'Miracle on the Hudson'
In 2014, 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.

This year, one of the most honored names in rosedom took home top honors. This year Best in Show went to the hybrid tea ‘Savannah’, bred by Kordes Rosen of Germany. The rose also won Best Hybrid Tea and Most Fragrant.

'Savannah', Courtesy Kordes Roses

This is the third year Biltmore’s Rose Garden has been home to the trials where dozens of varieties from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by the team of rosarians and horticulturists there.

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 difficult path to disease resistant roses

I love Kordes roses and especially admire the fact they stopped spraying their bushes in the early 90s. They were way ahead of the curve when it came to breeding more disease resistant varieties. It almost cost them their business as you can read in my 2009 article in The Christian Science Monitor:

'Bajazzo' (right) from  Kordes won Best Climber in 2014
Their determination to create a line of plants that could stay healthy throughout the growing season without the aid of chemical sprays has paid off handsomely. The Fairy Tale, Parfuma and Vigorosa Collections are hugely popular, and for good reason.

I loved the fairy tale endings where the amateur hybridizer bests the big names in the business.

This year, it is nice to see folks who started producing roses in 1887 step into the Biltmore spotlight.

Here is a complete listing of the winners:

·        The George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose of the Trials (Best in Show): 'Savannah,' bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany

·        The Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea: 'Savannah,' bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany  

·        The Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose: 'Savannah,' bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany

·        The Award of Excellence for Best Established Rose: 'Queen Elizabeth,' a Grandiflora rose.

·        The Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda: 'Tequila Gold,' bred by Meilland in France.

·        The Honorable John Cecil for Open Group: 'Popcorn Drift,' bred by Nova Flora, a breeder in West Grove, Pa.

·        The Gilded Age Award for Best Climber: 'FlyingKiss,' bred by Ping Lim, based in Portland, Oregon.

·        The Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub Rose: 'Peachy Keen,' bred by Bill Radler, of Milwaukee, Wisc.

·        The William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit: 'Phloxy Baby,' bred by Bill Radler, of Milwaukee, Wisc.

·        The Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant: 'Peachy Keen,' bred by Bill Radler, of Milwaukee, Wisc.


Teresa/ thegardendiary.com said...

What an excellent rose history lesson! 🌹💚🌹

Lynn Hunt said...

Thank you, Teresa. I found it so interesting how early Kordes stopped spraying and how they struggled for several years after. But their roses obviously are the toast of the town now!

gagasgarden said...

Dear Lynn,
I wrote a comment as soon as you published it but it hasn't appeared, writing comments via the phone work that way sometimes and I am trying to avoid going back to the computer. I am so thrilled to see Kordes Rosen winning with 'Savannah'. It tickled me that I was standing in front of Queen Elizabeth and told LeeAnn 'this sure looks like 'Queen Elizabeth' before I ever saw the sign! My mother had Queen Eluzabeth in my rose garden I inherited in the 70's and I also grew Kordes Perfecta and I am thrilled that the #BiltmoreRoseTruals evens the playing field for old, young and brilliant hybridizers across the board like Robert Neil Rippitoe and one of my favorites Ping Lim. 'Rainbow Sorbet' is truly a work of magic. And it looks like his winning climber will be another 'High Flying Winner'
Warmest Regards,
Susan Fox

Lynn Hunt said...

Susan, so sorry you had to try a second time to leave a comment! Those Queen Elizabeths were simply awesome! Can't wait to get that climber when it becomes available - stunning and disease-free. And it is fun to see an "old timer" win this year. Every year is an adventure and I'm so happy to be experiencing it with you!

gagasgarden said...

Dear Lynn,
I went looking for a Queen Elizabeth at Rural King since they are 'out of patent' I see them every where whic is a wonderful thing for the casual gardener and the fact that it won, it's readily avail everywhere.
Warmest regards,

Lynn Hunt said...

Susan, you are so right about Queen Elizabeth. An oldie but a goodie that still deserves a place in the garden!

Sunil Patel said...

Hello Lynn, reading through this I'm reminded about just how large the "roses" group is and just how much work goes into breeding roses and subsequent trials. While I tend to restrict myself to a particular breeder, style or habit (flower and shape), there is so much more and I could easily crowd out the entire garden with roses that catch my eye. I have to be very selective as we're at 20 roses already and counting!

Lynn Hunt said...

Sunil, that is one of the hazards of being a judge. I see new roses and want them all! This year, my garden is pretty packed, even with the new rose bed we built this spring. So I'm afraid something will have to "go" for a new rose to come in. Can't wait to see how your new garden does this year!

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Lynn Hunt said...

Thank you so much for stopping by and I will visit your site!

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