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Last winter was brutally cold. The summer before was a soggy mess. Echoing what they say about New York, a rose that can make it here, in the South's torpid, unpredictable weather, can probably make it anywhere.
"It can launch a new breeder's commercial production career or become the ultimate vote of confidence for an established nurseryman," the Asheville resident said. "The end result (is) great roses that anyone can grow, available for sale at nurseries everywhere."
To accommodate busier people, breeders began creating roses that need less attention. Some of those roses are entered in the Biltmore trial.
The roses will be judged by fragrance, recurrent bloom, health and vigor and disease resistance, with an emphasis on the latter two criteria, said Lucas Jack, the estate's rosarian charged with planting and maintaining the roses, including those for the Biltmore Adidas Los Angeles Primeknit
International Rose Trials. Trials are held to see how well hybrids perform in different climates and weather and how viable they are for market.
For breeders and nurserymen large and small, winning at the Biltmore International Rose Trials is like winning the Adidas Neo Toddler Kentucky Derby. A win can launch a breeder from obscurity to posterity.
The Biltmore International Rose Trials are now two years old and one of only two international rose trials in the nation. On May 24, the competition's permanent and Adidas Originals Shoes For Sale Shoes For Baby
international judging panels will select winning roses in 12 categories, choosing from a group of 29 roses planted in 2012.
Winning any of the categories to be judged at the Biltmore Estate on May 24 is "huge," said Rebecca Bull Reed, associate garden editor of Southern Living magazine and a member of the competition's permanent jury.
"We are simply looking for the best genetics the plants that are the healthiest, are true to their form type and yield no fail color," Reed said. The judges are also looking for roses that exceed expectations when grown organically. That, she said, is "a tall order for any plant."
January both years that the plants have been growing on the borders of the estate's historic Rose Garden in front of the Conservatory. "Once you're a winner, there will be some rose company willing to grow your rose and market it."
Rose trials are common throughout Europe, where people have been growing them for centuries. The popularity of rose gardening in the United States has ebbed and flowed, Hiers said. It was big in the '50 and '60s, but interest faded as life sped up in the '70s, he said.
Biltmore International Rose Trials happen May 24
The permanent jury has observed the roses in May, July, September and Adidas Neo Z
"Outside of the tropics, the Southeast might be the hardest place to grow roses," Jack said. "Anyone who has gardened here in the South realizes that our environmental stresses make it difficult to grow roses."
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