Growers build up stocks of rose of the year

Growers have been building up stocks of Scent From Heaven since it was chosen as the British Association of Rose Breeders (BARB) rose of the year for 2017 in 2013.

Warner: breeder of rose of the year Scent From Heaven - image: HW
Warner: breeder of rose of the year Scent From Heaven - image: HW

The UK-bred rose launched at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (5-10 July). Breeder Chris Warner said the industry has shrunk considerably from when he started in the 1960s - from 60 million to 8-9 million roses produced a year.

"When I started everyone sprayed but Kordes realised in the 1980s that was not good enough," he added. "The green movement started in Germany and Kordes started not spraying trials then the rest of us realised in the 1990s here were roses that didn't need spraying. Now we've not sprayed our trials for 15-16 years. There's no fungicidal spray, so if they aren't able to survive rust, downy mildew and mildew, they don't get grown.

"The other direction should be mixing roses with other plants. A bland bed of one variety is boring." Warner is now breeding persica hybrids. He said the most important things he looks for in a rose are fragrance, form and volume of bloom.

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