Garden centres are selling "Austin A35" roses rather than modern "BMW 323i" varieties, according to breeders launching new roses at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show on 29 June.
Breeder Philip Harkness, who is launching the 'Lynda Bellingham' rose, said: "If you went to the garden centre to buy a car you wouldn't buy an Austin A35 if there was a BMW 323i available. Rose development has come a long way since the 1960s."
Breeder Colin Dickson said it is increasingly difficult to successfully launch roses. With a lot of big growers gone, including Timmermans last year, these are "worrying times" for rose growers in the UK, he added.
"When I started there were 300 rose growers in the UK and now there are under 50, and just half-a-dozen big ones. People retire and no one follows behind them.
"We try and hit the garden centres to take the gold-standard varieties, not the old roses from 50 years ago. But garden centres are price-orientated and if they can be supplied with a range of colours that are as cheap as possible they don't care what it is. But breeding has got much better over the past 40 years. Roses are easier to grow and don't require so much spraying."
Rose of the year 2016 is 'Sunny Sky' Kuraruli, bred by W Kordes of Germany and introduced by Roses UK on behalf of the British rose trade.
British Association of Rose Breeders manager Ian Kennedy explained: "Each rose-of-the-year trial runs for two years and testing is at a variety of different trial stations around the country.
"During the two years of judging, scores are collected and the leading variety at the end is awarded rose of the year. Judging criteria include plant growth and health, floriferousness, fragrance and commercial value."
Rose of the year 2016 will be launched at Hampton Court on 29 June. The plant will be available from autumn 2015.
Rose introductions - RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
'WB Yeats' (Dicoodles) Floribunda and 'Lilac Wine' (Dicmulti) Floribunda, bred by Dickson Roses and introduced by Apuldram.
'Lynda Bellingham' (Harwise) Hybrid Tea, bred and introduced by Harkness Roses.
'Blue Diamond' Hybrid Tea from Fryers, 'Moorcroft' (Guesyearn) Floribunda bred by Maurice Guest, introduced by Style Roses.
'Wonderful You' (Smi 170-2-4) Hybrid Tea, bred by Edward Smith Roses, introduced by Style Roses.
'Desdemona' (Auskindling) Musk Hybrid by David Austin Roses.