The American Garden Rose Selection judges have announced the newest roses to be selected in the testing program. This was a bountiful year. There are six new winners. There have only been 22 in the previous seven years.
The AGRS program is the replacement of the All-America Rose Selection program that ran from 1940 until 2013. Roses that have been selected in either program are the best ones for gardeners to try. Only about 4% of the roses tested in the AARS program were chosen for a national award.
Roses entered into the AGRS are tested for two years in six different geographical regions, each containing two test gardens. Most of these test gardens are in botanical gardens, and all are open to the public.
The roses are evaluated five times per growing season. Evaluators are looking for the same characteristics you would like in a garden rose. Disease resistance is highly valued, since it will give you a rewarding experience with less care required.
They also judge each plant on its bloom abundance; bloom form and attractiveness; fragrance; rebloom habit; aging quality of blooms; hardiness in cold and heat; vigor; foliage proportion and attractiveness; and plant habit. In order for a variety to be granted an award, it must demonstrate superior performance in at least three of the six regions entered. In addition, awards are given for fragrance to help guide consumers who pick roses for their smell.
Brick House is a Regional Choice Award Winner in the Northwest, Northeast and South Central regions. This floribunda has a dark red flower color and reblooms throughout the season with a lot of flower power on each flush. It grows on its own roots and does well with less water than many roses.
Brindabella Purple Prince is a Regional Choice Award Winner in the Northeast, South Central and Southwest regions. It is a shrub rose that grows to about 4 feet tall. The flowers are dark red-purple with a very strong traditional rose fragrance.
Easy to Please is a Regional Choice Award Winner in the Northeast, Northwest, South Central, and Southeast regions. It is a floribunda rose with a high petal count.
Sweet Spirit is a Regional Choice Award Winner in all regions and Fragrance Award Winner. It is a grandiflora with a cherry red color and a strong, sweet fragrance that does really well in hot, humid climates. It is a good rose for cutting.
Top Gun is a Regional Choice Award Winner in the North Central, Southeast, and Southwest Regions. Besides being resistant to normal rose diseases, this rose is one of the first hybrids to withstand many years of trials in the Eastern U.S. and not have symptoms of the rose rosette virus. This shrub rose has long-lasting dark red flowers.
Tropica is a Regional Choice Award Winner in the Northwest, North Central, Southwest and South Central Regions. It has many petaled flowers that are bright pink on the outside and orangey pink on the inside.
For more information on these roses and photos of all of the previous AGRS winners, go to the American Garden Rose Selections website.
Email questions to Jeff Rugg at [email protected] To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: Bessi at Pixabay