Amateur Rose Trials

I asked some officers of the RHA if I could post this and they gave me the okay so here it is.

As many of you know we are doing an Amateur Rose Trials here at the Ashdown Rosarium. We would love to have as many breeders as possible enter the trials. The link to the rules is posted below.

I read the thread concerning the trials at ARC and it seems many of you would like to see as many trials/test grounds as possible. Hopefully we can provide another one.

A couple of notes that are not in the rules. This is not meant to replace any other trials. Some of you have raised this issue with me in private and I’d like to say publicly they aren’t

No one who works at Ashdown will be on either jury including myself. I feel that would be unfair because not only do we see the roses every day, but we know who they belong to. We won’t even know the running scores as they will be kept and tallied by one of the Directors of the Rosarium.

Since you are the breeders we would love feedback and suggestions on the rules. Feel free to suggest any changes you think might help.

Lastly I admit I was not aware of RHA until I announced the Trials and someone told me about you. We have been members of ARBA for many years. We will be joining RHA this week and look forward to becoming members. If there is anything we can do to help please don’t hesitate to call on us.


Paul Zimmerman


Sounds like a very interesting opportunity, Paul. Are you going to be allowing once-blooming ramblers to compete somehow?

Paul, this sounds like a great opportunity for potentially introducing a cultivar, if not such a good one for an honest useful evaluation.

One thing I would really like to see is a system in place which would evaluate roses for various climates and asign them ratings – and with some sort of statistical meaning. But I realize that is not your point in this thread, and as a commercial enterprise, it is perhaps inappropriate for me to suggest something which might better belong in the realm of a non-profit. Nonetheless…

What I think would be really interesting is if you (or someone) could team up with assorted botanical gardens in the mid-atlantic region to have a more broad perspective on the tested roses, and actually do trials with categories and awards having meaning to gardeners with specific interests/needs. If you could solicit cultivars for testing and even introduce cultivars which the U.S. might otherwise not see, that would be a real coup.

As a for-instance, (I apologize for copying and pasting from another thread) the following roses have won numerous awards in multiple other countries, yet from what I can tell, they are not offered here, not having, I suppose, the qualities the U.S. big players look for… These were all listed as winners of awards in trials from multiple countries at the World Rose Federation site and are not available state-side:

‘Golden Gate’ (KORgolgat) (Climber, also listed as a florist rose, presumably with very good production of blooms and good garden performance (a yellow kordesii derivative?)), ‘Astronomia’ (MEIguimov) (a blushing single form floribunda which vaguely reminds me of some bonica offspring) , and ‘Jet Set’ ((LAPra) (a pink Floribunda, which had it not racked up so darned many awards probably wouldn’t catch my attention)

We have ONLY one significant rating listed in the U.S. at the World Rose Federation site – the AARS. (Actually, I see they have recently added Rose Hills.) In contrast France – a significantly smaller country – has five.

It is absolutely absurd to pretend that one trial can have any meaning in a country with such diverse climates.

Sorry if I’m steering your thread in another direction…


Stefan, We have a rambler class and they will be once bloomers so the answer is yes. You might also notice an OGR class broken into repeat and non repeat flowering. I know breeders like Paul Barden are doing some wonderful new gallicas and we want to be open to them. This is something that is to my knowledge unique to these trials.

Phillip, We feel that since we are a nursery and so can commercially introduce the roses, gives us something different to offer as well as the evaluation.

Regarding your point about evaluation gardens across the country I completely agree with you. It


Here is a sentence from your linked “Ashdown Rosarium Amateur Rose Breeder’s Trials”

General Rules: “The trials…are open to Amateur Rose Breeders who reside within the United States or its Territories.”

Is this your last word or are you suggesting it no longer holds?

In other words: do you open your trial garden to foreign bred roses?


At the moment no. Not wishing to be jingoistic but for now we are limiting this to U.S. Breeders. With our quarantine laws being so strict at the moment adding in breeders from overseas is difficult. However, If enough Canadian Breeders are interested that might be considered. In the end however the full Directors of the Rosarium will make a decision for changes.

This decision was made partly in an effort to promote U.S. Amateur Breeders within the nursery trade and of course the general public. ARBA already does the same for UK Breeders.

A colleague of mine with a nursery in The Netherlands is considering doing an “International Style” amateur breeder’s trial there. He has recently agreed to introduce our winner(s) into commerce in Europe and we will introduce their winner to the US.

Could you let us (me?) know which colleague of yours with a nursery in The Netherlands it is?

I would like to know this.

Hi Pierre,

It’s Hans Van Hage with Rozenkwekerij de Bierkreek. I met him through a mutual friend 2-3 years ago and we are working on some projects together to get roses flowing in both directions. Both my parents are Dutch, most of family still lives there and I speak the language so the connection was easy.


Mijn naam is Dutch also: my grand grand father was a countryman in a small village of Limburg near Maastricht/Valkenburg.

When I was young… I spent a few monthes in Amsterdam learning greenhouse horticulture…

Quite instructive.

Oh nice! I would love to see some rare and interesting American hybrids come to the Netherlands. According to the website of De Bierkreek, they are also testing George Mander’s roses.

Maybe I’ll one day be able to send one of my own creations to a Dutch trial garden (if I ever produce something worthwhile :slight_smile:


(Apparently the only Dutch RHA member, according to the RHA Newsletter)

I thought all the great nursery people were Dutch or at least related!

I’ve spent time in greenhouses in Holland as well and it is always eye opening. I read somewhere that Holland has more greenhouse space in relation to the size of the country that almost anywhere. But then considering how small it is that is not difficult!

Rob I’m first generation American so perhaps I’ll be considered 1/2 Dutch when our RHA application is processed. Then there will be 1 1/2 Dutch members.

My Family is mostly from Rotterdam and Den Haag but now live all over - but still mostly in the south.

Paul, I remember being surprised about the amount of Dutch people or close descendents that operate famous rose nurseries in North America. I recall the owners of Hortico and Pickering are also of Dutch descent?

I myself am only working with roses for a hobby. My seedling output is rather small and (but?) I started hybridizing only two years ago. In my professional life I am a policy officer at the Dutch Plant Protection Service.

Anyway, it’s nice to be able to welcome you as another Dutch member, even if it’s only for 50% :slight_smile:


For the interested europeans: here is the reply I got from Hans Van Hage of Rozenkwekerij de Bierkreek

Yes, we have plans to have a rose trial for amateur breeders starting in

  1. We are still working out details and 2007 will be a year of

preparations. Our goal is to give amateur breeders a better change. Paul

Zimmermann and I are convinced of the quality and we allready exchange a lot

of material. One of the prices will be that the winning roses will be

introduced on both side of the ocean.

So the winning rose in the USA will be introduced in Europe and in the USA.

And the winning rose in Europe will be introduced in the USA and in Europe.

You are welcome to join as, when the time is there!

Hans van Hage

Rozenkwekerij de Bierkreek

Zevenhofstedenstraat 9

4515 RK IJzendijke

tel.: 0031 (0)6 12 90 50 85

fax: 0031 (0)115 48 20 48


More infos from Rozenkwekerij de Bierkreek:

…we don’t trialing any new roses yet. From the USA we have several varieties we are going to test as are:

From: Sean mc cann





Cupid’s mark

Fair eva

My wild irish rose




Gentle annie


Tantilizing mary

Allice faye

From: Kim ruperts



Too cute

Little butterfy


From: Mike lowe

Nozomi’s child


Autumn sunset

Bonchange ( mikes,s oldfashion pink)

Abigaile adams

Friends forever

From: Ralph sievers

Summer blush

White blush

Royal blush

Morning blush

From George Mander ( Canada) We test almost every variety. By testing we mean that we grow them, a few years, also in container. In this period we see how they do on our organic rosefield. We also plant them in 3, 4, 5.5 or 7 liter containers, wich we also grow organicly. We alowe some people to plant them in the garden, ( mostly rosarians) who are going to give us their opinion. Also our customers let us know what they like, because they can see these varieties growing in the containers and in the fields. Together with our on befindings we introduce them on the market or not. As we are just starting with this, we haven’t got any introductions yet. Also we don’t want to introduce any of these tested roses, because some of these are on the market already. Maybe we let a few of the Mander varieties go along, we don’t know. Also, this is going to be our first experience with a rose trial. We need any help we can get, also to let thing go fair and have the best results after this.

How we grow organicly?? That’s not so hard! Just don’t spray any chemical fungicides, herbicides or insecticides. Also we use natural fertilizers from organic source. We spray with some alge products, but just to make the plants stronger. That’s all there is. Make the plant’s strong so that they can’t get ill. Of course there are a lot of varieties wich will have spots, but on the fields that’s only in september or in oktober. Most of the regualar growers have it in the same time. With containers we are still trying to improve. Some varieties get spots in july, most only in or after august. We still figuring out to get better healthy results, but I think it’s not bad. Also, customers should learn about the spots. They come along with some varieties and only the best soil, feeding an place in the garden can keep them relativly healthy. Other roses, wich are asumed to be very healthy can get sick when they are planted wrong or in the wrong place. This is a thing we try to explain to our customers.

The hardest part of growing organicly is the weeds. The work is never done and our rosefields are never “clean” of weeds. But, I think this keep them healthy also. Roses growed togehter with some weeds, seems to be stronger and healthier than growed in bare soil.

That a rose nursery can be organic is quite surprising for me. Nevertheless there are nice rose field pictures on this site.

Are there other organicaly grown nuseries??