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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Harkness Roses - More New at Chelsea '09

Posted by Graham Rice on 24 May 2009 at 09:49 AM

There show's over, and a great show it was, sell-off was late yesterday afternoon - but news of new plants keeps on coming. Just so you know... three more batches of newcomers and then a long list of every one.

Now, there are more new roses from Harkness Roses than from anyone else. I took a look at their spectacular Persian Mystery series a few days ago, but there are more - four more, in fact. All four have interesting connections.

Rose Equity (‘Harplayer’). Image: ©RHSIn support of the Equity Benevolent Fund, the celebrities were out in force to support Equity (‘Harplayer'), the rose whose sales will support actors with financial hardship or special needs. A classic Floribunda rose, clusters of unusually pretty buds open to sprays of up to seven pink, beautifully fragrant, slightly ruffled blooms with peachy overtones. They're likely to be more vivid pink when not specially encouraged to flower for the show. Equity (‘Harplayer') is prolific with a long season and is good in mixed borders, as a low hedge or in more traditional rose beds.

Rose Girlguiding UK Centenary Rose (‘Harnova'). Image: ©RHSGirlguiding UK Centenary Rose (‘Harnova') is another Floribunda and features petals which are velvety red on the top and white on the back and the flowers open to reveal a white central eye. Not fully double - if the pretty flower was more crowded with petals the bicolour effect would be less apparent - the flowers have an unusual musk and citrus scent. Just 80cm/30in high, Girlguiding UK Centenary Rose (‘Harnova') is another that will fit into beds and borders or make an attractive low hedge. It's also unusually disease resistant. 20% of the sales receipts go to The Guide Association.

High Sheriff 2009 (‘Hartabard') is the rose of the High Sheriffs' Association and replaces the earlier ‘High Sheriff' which enjoyed the role for eighteen years. Lovely creamy peach flowers open from very pale peachy pink buds and age to white tinted with peach. Just 60cm/2ft high, this is another very prolific and long flowering plant with good disease resistance.

Rose High Sheriff 2009 (‘Hartabard'). Image: ©RHSRaising funds for the charity WomenforWomen, Robert Winston (‘Harsunup') is a classic Floribunda in coral orange with a vast flower production while Victoria  Pendleton (‘Harpace'), a lovely, delightfully ruffled, amber gold Floribunda celebrates Victoria  Pendleton's cycling Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympics.

This impressive quintet of new roses will be available to order soon on the Harkness Roses website.



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