This weekend national and international rose growers and hybridisers will converge on the New Zealand International Rose Trial Grounds at the Esplanade Gardens to celebrate the best roses in the world.
The awards will be presented on Sunday 4 December at 2.00pm by Palmerston North City Deputy Mayor Jim Jefferies and John Ford, Chairman of the Trial Ground Committee.
There will be four different categories of awards, including the June Hocking Fragrance Award and the Nola Simpson Novelty Award. Any winning rose bred by a New Zealand amateur breeder is also eligible for the Silver Star of the City of Palmerston North, but the highlight of the weekend will be the presentation of The Gold Star of the South Pacific Award for the top rose.
Over the past two years 50 roses have been submitted by rose breeders from around the world. All have been cared for by Palmerston North City Council staff at the trial grounds.
"While many people visit and admire the rose gardens in the Esplanade every year, not everyone appreciates the national significance of the gardens as trial grounds," Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor said. "PNCC is very proud of the dedication staff have shown at maintaining the trial grounds at international level."
Most of the roses in the trial grounds have never been seen before in New Zealand and represent the latest trends in the rose industry.
"Rose breeders worldwide are breeding roses with more flowers and improved disease tolerance," John Ford said. "More varieties have fragrant blooms than ever before."
"The awards reflect the reputation of the City and the Victoria Esplanade Gardens as an internationally recognised rose growing area, particularly as the city gears up to host the World Federation of Rose Societies Regional Convention in 2013," Mr Ford said.
The roses are all evaluated by a panel of 20 judges on characteristics including colour, fragrance, health, flower form and novelty over a two year period. The presentations will take place at the gazebo in the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Gardens.