Rose of the Year

Well-known for its amazing rose displays, Hampton Court's 2015 Festival of Roses once again delighted visitors

Every year the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show unveils the prestigious Rose of the Year award following trials for which UK rose breeders enter their most promising new plants.

Rose of the Year 2016: ‘Sunny Sky’ (Koraruli)

A Hybrid Tea rose producing large flowers with a slight fruity fragrance, its honey-yellow buds lighten to soft yellow. Repeat-flowering throughout the season, the flowers are complemented by highly disease-resistant foliage. It is an easy care choice for novice or experienced gardeners. Grows to a height and spread of 1m (3ft 3in) x 50cm (20in).

  • Bred by W. Kordes of Germany. Introduced by Roses UK on behalf of the British Rose Trade.

About the Rose of the Year trials:

UK rose breeders enter some of their most promising new roses into the trial. Beginning six years before the commercial introduction of the winning rose, the trial lasts for two years. The diversity of trial locations around the country ensures that the roses are tested in a variety of soil and climate conditions. Flower and plant form, colour, scent, abundance of flower, health and easy maintenance are all considered important characteristics of a Rose of the Year.

WB YeatsOther new roses

‘W B Yeats’ (Dicoodles) Floribunda

Named to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the famous and much-loved Irish poet, this floribunda produces an eye-catching display of bright red, semi-double flowers with vivid yellow stamens.
The lightly perfumed blooms are offset by glossy and disease resistant foliage. Suitable for growing in sunny borders or large containers, this rose will repeat flower throughout the season.

  • Bred by Dickson Nurseries. Introduced by Apuldram Roses.

Lilac WineLilac Wine’ (Dicmulti) Floribunda

Dark pink pointed buds open to spiralling lilac coloured rosette blooms of up to 60 petals with lasting quality. The mature flowers fade to a more delicate pink, and are complemented by dark green glossy foliage on a very strong growing and disease resistant plant. The light perfume is enhanced in warmer weather. This rose was awarded Gold Standard in the British Association of Rose Breeders trials.

  • Bred by Dickson Nurseries. Introduced by Apuldram Roses.

Blue DiamondBlue Diamond’ Hybrid Tea

The pink-tinted buds of this classic Hybrid Tea rose open to silvery grey and lilac blooms that are very fragrant.

This rose repeat flowers well throughout the season, and has has lush mid-green foliage that grows to a height of around one metre (3ft 3in). Bred by New Zealand rose breeder Mike Athy and named for the Blue Diamond Garden Centre Group.

  • Introduced by Fryers Roses.

MoorcroftMoorcroft’ (Guesyearn) Floribunda

Violet-red, scalloped-edged and fragrant single blooms with a golden centre appear in clusters, complemented by healthy olive green foliage. Flowering from early in the season, the petals close at night, extending the life of the blooms. This rose repeat flowers until late autumn and the compact habit makes it ideal for borders and containers. Grows to a height of approx 60-90cm (24in-3ft).

  • Bred by Maurice Guest, this rose is named for the world famous Moorcroft Pottery. Introduced by Style Roses.

Wonderful You‘Wonderful You’ (Smi 170-2-4) Hybrid Tea

Strong, upright stems produce eye-catching large, burnt orange, lightly fragranced individual blooms in groups of up to six blooms per stem.

Showing excellent disease resistance, the foliage of this robust variety is an attractive glossy, bronzed red when young. Grows to a height of approx 90-120cm (3-4ft).

  • Bred by Edward Smith Roses. Introduced by Style Roses.

DesdemonaDesdemona' (Auskindling) Musk Hybrid

This rose is exceptionally long flowering, producing blooms from early summer until the first frosts. Peachy pink buds open to reveal pure white blooms, with an intense myrrh fragrance. They also maintain their shape during wet weather. ‘Desdemona’ forms a strong, healthy shrub with broad, open growth amd was named after the tragic heroine of William Shakespeare’s Othello.

  • Bred and introduced by David Austin Roses.

Lynda BellinghamLynda Bellingham’ (Harwise) Hybrid Tea

Named in memory of Lynda Bellingham, this rose produces large densely-petalled flowers with a light and spicy perfume, on a strong but compact bush. The golden apricot colour intensifies towards the centre of the flower. Foliage is glossy, dense and mid-green in colour. With a compact habit this is an ideal rose for borders or containers. Grows to a height of approx 80cm (31in)

  • Bred and introduced by Harkness Roses.

Interested in growing roses?

For further information on all new varieties mentioned here please contact Roses UK: Ian Kennedy, email [email protected]

Read our advice on growing roses and choosing the best ones for your garden.


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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.