Every year since 1982, rose experts have chosen a Rose of the Year
. ‘Mountbatten' was the first, and the 2009 winner was launched at yesterday's press preview of the show - ‘Lucky', bred by Gareth Fryer
A gorgeous Floribunda (cluster-flowered) rose with an old-fashioned air, ‘Lucky' is a lovely lilac-pink, darkest in bud then fading attractively.
The fragrant flowers have an appealing wave to the petals and are carried in great profusion. Ideal in mixed borders, it's unusually healthy and easy to grow. "People are looking for fragrance and good health in roses these days," said Marilyn Stevens of Roses-UK, who organise the Rose of the Year, as she put the finishing touches to the exhibit of ‘Lucky' in the Festival of Roses. ‘Lucky' has both.
The Rose of the Year is chosen from the very best roses submitted each year by rose breeders around the world. They're grown in sites across the country from Aberdeen to Hampshire, from Northern Ireland to East Anglia, and a team of amateur and professional rose experts assess them at all the sites over a two year period and choose the best. So if a rose passes that scrutiny around the country it really must be good. You'll find a full list here
. ‘Lucky' will be available from most rose growers in the autumn, and in particular from the raiser Fryers Roses
The 2008 Rose of the Year was ‘Sweet Haze', a very pretty dwarf shrub rose with a
long season of small pink flowers wand a delightful fragrance. It's available from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries