The nation’s top rose growers gathered last weekend at the magnificent Biltmore Estate in Asheville North Carolina to judge the 2014 Biltmore International Rose Trials and I was honored to be counted among those invited. First established in 2011, this trial draws rose breeders from around the globe who enter roses in the trial. Entries are judged over a two year period for disease resistance, bloom, fragrance and overall health, beauty as well as other criteria.
This garden is carefully maintained by Biltmore Rosarian, Lucas Jack. His role is to maintain the integrity of the trial, allowing NO SPRAY or chemicals to be used in the garden and to employ organic methods of growing. As you can see by the photos, this garden is kept in pristine condition by this outstanding team of horticulturalists lead by Mr. Jack.
Judges traveled from all over the United States to take part in the final judging of this particular group of roses. Entries judged had been entered from the United States, UK, Canada, Ireland, Germany and France, all vying for these coveted awards.
Winners were announced in multiple categories as follows:
‘Miracle on the Hudson, hybridized by Robert Rippetoe of California swept the show with multiple wins:
George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose – Best in Show
Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub Rose
William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit
Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant.
Keep an eye out for this rose. It’s vigorous growth habit, a multitude of buds and blooms as well as NO disease whatsoever will make this rose one that will be much sought after.
The Honorable John Cecil Award for Open Group
This award goes to a rose named “Pookah” a polyantha bred the late James Delahanty. I had the privilege to know Mr. Dleahanty and he was a great man who loved his roses.
The Frederick Law Olmsted Award for Best Groundcover was award to ‘Sweet Drift’ bred by Meilland in France. This was a standout among the groundcover roses in the trials. beautiful growth habit with a multitude of blooms. Awesome to see a rose readily available in local home centers win this award. Entered by Star Roses & Plants
Gilded Age Award for Best Climber
“Bajazzo” was I think the most eye catching rose in the trials. Bred in Germany by Kordes this climber was perfect in many ways. Full bloom, no disease, good growth habit. I already have a place picked out to grow this beauty! Who’s with me? Entered by NewFlora
Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea
“Francis Meilland” bred by Meilland in France is also a AARS winner. First hybrid tea to win these awards under no spray conditions. Entered by Star Roses & Plants
Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose
“Munstead Wood” from famed hybridizer David Austin Roses UK. One bloom of this rose can fill a room with fragrance. When I was judging, I could smell this rose before I got to it… A Must have in my Alabama rose garden.
Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda
“Tequila Supreme” by Meilland in France, introduced Star Roses and Plants
This is only one of two international rose trials held in the United States. The others are mainly in Europe and just as in the U.S., are much celebrated events. Paul Zimmerman is the coordinator of the Biltmore Trials and is a staunch advocate for garden roses as shrubs and is the author of Everyday Roses, available at bookstores everywhere.