A feast for the senses
Find your new favourite rose
At the Festival of Roses you could chat to some of the country's top rose growers, and sniff out your favourite varieties - with hundreds of varieties on show, and many available to buy, it was a great place to find the perfect rose for you.
There was a staggering range of roses on display, from old favourites such as the single Jacqueline du Pré with her ivory white petals and elegant, spidery stamens to the latest new varieties (see below).
Even if roses aren't your 'thing', it was impossible to leave the marquee without being impressed by the incredible range of roses available to gardeners today. If you were worried that roses are difficult, or need a lot of time to look after, you could talk to the growers - many new varieties are easier to grow than ever before as they've been selected for 'user-friendly' traits like disease resistance and dropping their petals cleanly when they've finished flowering. The perfect opportunity to take a fresh look at roses today!
Lovestruck ('Dicommatac') – Rose of the Year 2018
This Floribunda rose has lightly scented, cherry-red, double blooms, complemented by glossy dark green foliage. Flowering prolifically throughout the season, it has shown outstanding health and vigour in rose trials around the country. It's claimed to be so healthy that it's suited to organic cultivation - unlike many roses, especially some of the older cultivars. Being a small-ish Floribunda, growing to only about a metre and with a softer outline than others such as the Hybrid Teas, Lovestruck is easier to combine with other garden plants.
Despite being new, Lovestruck has already started making its mark on the rose world: as well as achieving the Rose of the Year 2018 accolade, it has been awarded Gold Standard in the British Association of Rose Breeders rose trials and received a Gold Medal in the Royal National Rose Society International Trials.
Bred by Colin Dickson of Dickson Nurseries, Northern Ireland and introduced on behalf of the British rose trade by Roses UK. Bare root plants will be available from October 2017 onwards.
Other new roses
Judi Dench ('Ausquaker') - left. An English Musk Hybrid from David Austin, with delightfully scented, colour-changing blooms - starting as red-tipped buds, they open to a rich apricot, fading towards creamy yellow as they age. 'Little Angel' - centre. A Floribunda, named for the charity Tree Aid. Flowers continuously throughout summer and has a light fragrance. £1 from the sale of each rose will go to Tree Aid. 'Oxana' - right: introduced by Apuldram Roses, from the same breeder as Rose of the Year Lovestruck. A disease-resistant Floribunda with strong stems and double, deep pink flowers.
List of exhibitors