Best New Variety - Hardy nursery stock

Winner: Rose Joie de Vivre, John Woods Nurseries

Rose Joie de Vivre - image: John Woods Nurseries
Rose Joie de Vivre - image: John Woods Nurseries

Roses remain one of the UK's favourite flowers and competition from growers is tough. Rosa Joie de Vivre had to be good - really good.

The repeat-flowering floribunda has a compact habit and superb health. From June until the early frosts, it offers gently fragrant creamy pastel-pink blooms that look and smell so good you could almost eat them.

There are more pluses, insists John Woods Nurseries. Glossy apple-green leaves frame the blooms and remain fresh throughout the season, giving a spectacular end result rising to 50cm and spreading 40cm. Bred by Kordes Rosen of Germany, Joie de Vivre has a winning way about it, having scooped Rose of the Year at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2011.

There it was, billowing beautifully around the rose marquee and also as part of a gold-medal winning display. It also featured at the Healthy Garden and BBC Gardeners' World Live, the aim of both events being to drive sales by raising consumer awareness and promoting stockists through John Woods' retail hotline and website. Sales have taken off.

The launch batch of 5,000, which went on sale from autumn 2010 to last summer, sold out fast and sell-through has been strong.

This is reflected in heavy demand this season. Joie de Vivre is also produced under licence by a number of growers and total production for sales in the launch year was more than 35,000 units.

The rose is a natural in almost every respect. It exudes nostalgia and old-world charm and is compact enough for the patio. Yet this is no shrinking violet - the rose can survive bitingly cold weather, offers a great shelf life thanks to good repeat-flowering traits and gives retailers a healthy cash margin.

Joie de Vivre, insists John Woods Nurseries, lives up to its name - healthy and hearty but with a potent sales punch.

Highly Commended

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Landgard is the interface that connects specialist growers with retail customers. We offer our customers a flexible tailor-made service to ensure that supply meets demand and outstanding quality is key.

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