The Gilded Age Award for Best Climber: “FlyingKiss” bred by Ping Lim.
Biltmore International Rose Trials judges make their way through the varieties on trial that were first planted in the Walled Garden in 2013.
On [a] Saturday morning, ladies and gents arrived at the historic Rose Garden in fashionable hats, some adorned with likenesses of the flower they were there to honor: roses. The sun hadn’t completely risen when the parade of rose devotees began, and its filtered light created the perfect atmospheric condition for the reviewing and photographing of the morning’s main attraction.
Cameras and clipboards in hand, members of an international jury started the morning by judging the annual Biltmore International Rose Trials. Growers, distributors and all-around rose appreciators joined them for the event, the culmination of two years’ growth of roses submitted by breeders in 2013 to be cared for and tested by Biltmore’s expert gardening team. Rose breeds from the U.S. and several other countries made it through preliminary judging rounds for Saturday’s final contest.
A dusky pink rose named “Savannah” emerged as the morning’s star. “Savannah” took the George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose of the Trials, in other words Best in Show. “Savannah” is bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany, and also captured the categories for Best Hybrid Tea and Most Fragrant. Interestingly enough, two roses bred by Bill Radler took three categories. Radler is creator of the family of roses known as Knock Out, familiar in both home gardening and professional landscaping circles.
Pat Shanley, international jury member and president-elect of the American Rose Society, spoke later at the awards luncheon. These trials, she said, provide an opportunity to not only admire the beauty of roses, but to eradicate the long-thought notion that roses are difficult to grow and need to be treated with pesticides. The roses trialed at Biltmore’s contest are bred especially for the casual gardener to grow and nurture.
The trial roses are on display amid rose specimens that have been growing in Biltmore’s Rose Garden for more than 100 years. Guests at Biltmore are welcome to stroll through and judge for themselves.
See the winners here.