Monday, June 6, 2016

Return to the Biltmore Rose Garden

Back in 2013, I went to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville to work on an article about the first International Rose Trials that had recently taken place there.

That year, an amateur hybridizer, Mike Athy of Gisborne, New Zealand, walked away with top honors for his ground cover/climbing rose Athyfalaa.  The article included an interview with Athy, and a history of the Biltmore rose garden.  

Since then, I have been honored to become a member of the permanent judging panel for the trials, so I get to visit the gardens four times a year and evaluate all the roses entered in the competition. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!

This year, the judging and gala awards event will be held in September instead of May. (And The Dirt Diaries will dish dirt on all the winners!) So I went up last week to complete my spring judging and see how the roses were coming along after a tough winter and some late freezes.

To say everything looked spectacular would be an understatement. Emily and her crew are doing a splendid job and the roses have never looked prettier.

I had two cameras with me to take advantage of any photo ops. I was not disappointed. After I got home, I went back and revisited the pictures I’d taken each May since 2013. Boy, talk about changes!

For example, look at the Maypole in 2013 and 2016. Those little Rural England bushes have taken off in the past three years!

The Maypole was pretty in 2013

But baby, look at her now!
The climbers were also gorgeous. And so were the perennials accompanying the roses. So if you can’t visit yourself just now, sit back and enjoy your private tour courtesy of The Dirt Diaries.

Sadly, the photos aren’t scratch and sniff.  But take my word for it, the fragrance was intoxicating.

Climbers got extra TLC this spring and it shows!

American Beauty and her perennial partners

Climbing roses and the conservatory

The Maypole and Zepherine Drouhin in 2013

Zepherine (background left) and the Maypole this year

Perennial companions add interest between flushes of bloom

Baronne Prevost

New Dawn

Roses and yarrow

Glad I don't have the deadheading chores!


Beth at PlantPostings said...

Lucky you! I can only imagine how wonderful that would be (deadheading aside). :)

Lynn Hunt said...

You are so right, Beth. It is a joy to go there even in January (although there isn't much to judge except the health of the plant.)Looking at that pile of deadheads makes me feel tired!

Teresa/ said...

Your pictures are so beautiful, it is ALMOST like being there! Lovely! See you in September! 😘

Lynn Hunt said...

I can't wait to be with you! We will have some beauties competing for the prizes.

Sunil Patel said...

Hello Lynn, those are amazing pictures, it's lovely to see a mature "New Dawn" knowing that someday, hopefully ours will look almost as good, if I can just get round to planting it permanently. With the cold Spring we've had our numerous Old English roses are late, but they're just beginning to open now and I've honestly been waiting all year to watch them open, flower and smell their amazing fragrance. I shall have to write about it.

Lynn Hunt said...

So glad you enjoyed the photos, Sunil. I will look forward to reading all about your roses when they bloom. A few of my new ones (Olivia Rose, The Poet's Wife and Harlow Carr) have buds and I am excited to see what the blooms will look like. Ah, anticipation! And by the way New Dawn gets quite big so pick a proper spot where it can show off!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alice said...

I wish for the great of success in all of our destiny endeavors

Seigle, Lucy said...


Emerson said...

The most impressive info about them was their blend of creative and technical abilities.

Post a Comment