City of Glasgow International Rose Trials 2021

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Last week, I tagged along with Honorary Caley Vice President Pam Whittle to do some judging at the International Rose Trials in Glasgow. The International Rose Trials take place each year within Tollcross Park. New rose varieties are planted each year and once established, the roses are regularly inspected by a panel of experts. Over two summers the roses are assessed for their health, beauty of flower, freedom of bloom, and general effect.

This year, Bed 15 was judged.  Bed 15 has 33 new varieties of roses planted in it.  I approached the judging as someone who has a small town garden.  For a plant to earn a place in my garden, it has to give me a lot for my money. I tried to be as objective as possible.  I have a personal dislike for yellow flowers and a fondness for pink shades, so I tried not dislike the yellow roses on sight!

I was impressed by the condition of all of the roses – there was not a greenfly in sight.  Some varieties were more successful than others, with much more vigorous growth and lots of flowers.  The only disappointment that I had was the lack of fragrance.  For me a rose should smell like a rose.

In the end, my favourite rose was not a pink one but a red one.  Alexander von Humboldt is a low growing bushy rose that has a multitude of flowers and glossy foliage.  Only a very slight fragrance but you can’t have everything.  The bees definitely love it – the plants were positively vibrating with all the bees buzzing around.

If you are in Glasgow, do go along to Tollcross Park and have a look at the roses. It is well worth a visit. Like me, you may well have your opinion changed on what flowers you actually like.

Julie Muir

All images taken on 14th July 2021 by J Muir

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