National and international rose growers will shortly find out which of their roses has been judged the best grown at the New Zealand International Rose Trial Grounds in the Victoria Esplanade Gardens.
The Gold Star of the South Pacific award, given annually to the top rose grown in the Esplanade’s International Rose Trial Grounds, will be announced and presented next Sunday, November 25, at the Manawaroa Pavilion in the Esplanade.
The special guest for the day will be Dr Gerald Meylan from Switzerland, President of the World Federation of Rose Societies who will be in Palmerston North attending the 2007 National Spring Rose Show and Convention being held at the Palmerston North Convention Centre.
Over the past two years 50 roses submitted by growers and hybridisers from around the world have been grown and cared for by City Council staff at the grounds. Most of these roses have never been seen before in New Zealand and represent the latest trends in the rose industry.
The roses are evaluated by a panel of 20 judges on characteristics including colour, fragrance, health, flower form and uniqueness.
Certificates of Merit are given to roses which accumulate 70 points or more and are available commercially with special awards made for roses which have scored highly for fragrance or novelty.
The awards presentation this year will see two awards renamed the Hocking Fragrance Award and the Simpson Novelty Award after two local rosarians, June Hocking and Nola Simpson who have given over 30 years service to the trial grounds.
Any winning rose bred by a New Zealand amateur breeder is eligible for the Silver Star of the City of Palmerston North.
The City Council’s Parks Project Coordinator, Charles Foulds, says the Gold Star award gives the winning rose’s breeder and agent instant recognition and will help market it throughout New Zealand. The winning roses stay in the Esplanade for six years while the others are returned to their breeders and agents.
“The ongoing awards reflect the reputation of the city and the Victoria Esplanade as an internationally recognised rose growing area,” Charles says.
The four categories of awards will be presented by Dr Gerald Meylan and Mayor, Jono Naylor at the Manawaroa Pavilion at 1.30pm