The trial gardens are a partnership between the New Zealand Rose Society and the Palmerston North City Council and were the first trial grounds to be established in the Southern Hemisphere.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary a new rose has been commissioned by the City’s Mayor, Grant Smith and the search is now on for a name to represent the city that has a long and proud association with roses.
Donated by rose breeder Rob Somerfield, the medium-growing Hybrid Tea has well-formed blooms of gold and yellow with an orange flush to the outer petals.The blooms are slightly fragrant and last well when picked. A bed of the rose will be planted in the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden in winter 2020.
New Zealand Rose Society vice president and Manawatū Rose Society president Hayden Foulds said, “We’re delighted one of New Zealand’s best rose breeders has supported the celebration of this milestone, but the rose needs a name – and not just any name.
“We’re wanting a name that captures the city that was once known as New Zealand’s Rose City. We’d love people to suggest names, particularly those from Palmerston North who know the city so well.”
The person who comes up with the name chosen by Rob Somerfield, will receive six of Rob’s rose plants, including the new rose being named.
There will be a limited first release of this new variety at the 2020 National Spring Rose Show and Convention which is being held 28 – 29 November 2020 at the Palmerston North Conference and Function Centre. The show and conference will also celebrate the 50 years of the rose trials.
The competition opens on 1 August and closes 31 September. The winning name will be announced at the Rose Trials awards presentation on Sunday 1 December in Palmerston North.