I am just back from my annual trek to the Biltmore Estate to participate in the Biltmore International Rose Trials. Once again I found myself steeped in the old world charm of a walled sunken garden to take an in-depth look at the most modern of roses. Hybridizers from around the world continue to work hard to bring us the best of the best for our home gardens..
WINE & ROSES
Our time in the garden begins on Friday evening with a wine and roses party. It is so wonderful to renew long time friendships and make new friends as we bond around our mutual love for the rose.
TIME FOR BUSINESS!
In the spirit of the Vanderbilt legacy we don our fancy clothes and hats and make our way to the task at hand.
It is my pleasure to share with you the 2019 Rose Trial Winners. These roses have been judged each season (even winter) for two years.
Moonlight Romantica (MEILkaquinz)
Meilland / Star Roses
Pauline Merrell Award – Best Hybrid Tea Rose
Sweet Hips (KAPswehp)
Lord Burleigh Award – Best Disease Resistant Rose
William Cecil Award – Best General Impression
Bliss Parfuma (KORmarzau)
Edith Wharton Award – Best Floribunda Rose
Cupid’s Kisses (WEKtriscala)
Weeks – Bedard
Gilded Age Award – Best Climbing Rose
Coral Knock Out Rose (RADral)
Star Roses – Radler
Chauncey Beadle Award – Best Shrub Rose
George and Edith Vanderbilt Award – Most Outstanding Rose
SPECIAL THANKS TO…
…Our coordinator of the Biltmore Rose Trials, Paul Zimmerman, for his leadership and vision to work with amateur and professional hybridizers to provide the very best for our gardens.
…Parker Andes, Biltmore Director of Horticulture, and his teams for the care of the gardens and their commitment to the Biltmore vision.
Princesse Charlene De Monaco (Meidysouk) House of Meilland – Star Roses & Plants
Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose
George and Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose
Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea
Highwire Flyer (Radwire)
William Radler – Star Roses and Plants
Gilded Age Award for Climbing Rose
William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit
Shining Moment (Radshining) William Radler – Star Roses and Plants
Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda
Sending special thanks to Paul Zimmerman for his vision and his hard work as Coordinator of the Biltmore rose trials.
Because of his work, both professional and amateur hybridizers have a greater chance for their creations to be known.
Because of his work, the backyard gardener has more beautiful options for their gardens!
Because of his wonderful work, ARS President Pat Shanley awarded him a Presidential Citation for a job well done.
Pat gave another much deserved Presidential Citation to Parker Andes, Director of Horticulture , for his work and dedication to this project. Parker and his teams ensure the Biltmore gardens are at their best and stay true to the Vanderbilt vision.
Someone had to be first and in the case of hybrid teas, it was La France. When you hear the terms Old Garden Roses and Modern Roses do you ever wonder how to know which is which? Old Garden Roses are roses bred before 1867 …. when the first Hybrid Tea was named and that first Hybrid Tea — La France. This pretty, fragrant rose was found in France by the Rosarian, Andre’ Guillot. Parents of this rose are said to be Hybrid Perpetual “Madame Victor Verdier” and tea rose “Madame Bravy” —giving us a new classification of roses—Hybrid Teas! (Note: Her parentage is sometimes debated!😉)
While most old garden roses are one time bloomers, this new hybrid gave us blooms throughout the growing season. Hybrid Teas are said to be the most popular class of roses, much of that popularity comes from their being commonly used as “florist” roses with their long stems and high centers.
La France is a large shrub that would NOT be considered disease resistant–black spot and other fungal disease find her very attractive! She grows best in warmer climates. As a hybrid tea she has been surpassed in beauty, form and is no longer welcome in many gardens, however, few can surpass her in fragrance! As the first, she has historical significance, making her a sentimental favorite with a warm place in my heart. Yes, she blazed the trail that led us to the amazing repeat bloomers we have now.
LA FRANCE AND THE BILTMORE
The most beautiful bed of La France roses I have ever seen is in the Biltmore garden and what a perfect place for her. She is in the company of many other historical giants in the rose world like Blush Noisette. You cannot walk by La France without stopping to take in the damask fragrance and delicate features of this rose. The pictures show that this first hybrid tea does not have the growth habit of the more modern hybrid teas but a growth habit more like that of her historical parents with delicate stems that bow in the breeze — just adding to her charm.
LA FRANCE AND FRIENDS
My time at the Biltmore is filled with beautiful roses of course, but also rose friend reunions. Friends like Jim Wilson. Jim is a wealth of rose knowledge and in particular La France. In fact, he says the rose world is sometimes confused on which rose is La France (that parentage debate I mentioned!). At the end of this post is a video interview I did with Jim last year where he talks about this debate.
Fast forward to this year when Jim presented me with my very own La France! He grew a lovely plant for me to take home! This rose is over-wintering in my potting shed and has already given me several blooms with that amazing damask fragrance it is known for.
Fingers crossed that she can be happy all winter long in less than perfect conditions—dry, dim light. 😳 I am excited to see what she can do next year in a large pot in my garden. She’s a “diva” for sure and will require extra care but I’m up for it.
First up, winning 4 of the 7 awards for 2017 is Screaming Neon – including Most Outstanding rose of the trial. A rose you couldn’t miss. A beautiful, healthy rose just covered in bloom. It showed no sign of disease. This rose will be beautiful in your garden or landscape!
Awards for Screaming Neon were:
Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant
Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub
William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit
And, the George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding rose of the trial!
Ping’s roses have won in these trials before…
2015’s Gilded Age Award for Best Climber — ‘Flying Kiss.’ 2016’s Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea — ‘Double 10’
Ping Lim also won the Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda with the lovely Lion King.
The gorgeous Anastasia, bred by Michel Adam, won the Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid tea.
And, TADA, the coveted Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for theMost Fragrant rose goes to Dee-Lish. This rose is from the esteemed House of Meilland.
Our time on the Biltmore Estate was lovely as always. It is a magical place especially when you have the opportunity to be in the garden when it is shrouded in fog. Enchanting. Magical.
If you have not visited the Biltmore, do put it on your list. You will love anytime of year, BUT ESPECIALLY when the roses are in bloom.
Come on in…
These hats & ladies are winners!
Too much fun!
Jon Parker, Biltmore Rosarian
Up Close and Personal
Paul Zimmerman gets the party started.
All rosey with our ARS President Pat Shanley.
Chris & Tina VanCleave looking so fine!
Beauty at every turn.
Fog and roses … a winner every time!
He’s the best!
It has been quite a week. Color me a happy gardener…
Hope you have a fabulous weekend and a Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!