City of Glasgow International Rose Trials
Last week, a small group of Caley members who regularly volunteer with us, took a trip through to Glasgow to have a go at judging some roses in the City of Glasgow International Rose Trials in Tollcross Park. This wasn’t an official part of the judging of the trials – it was just a bit of fun for our members and a chance to see what is involved. They were met by Norman Robb and Derek Wells who gave the group an oversight of the Rose Trials from their inception to the present day, along with some tips about planting and replanting a rose bed.
As you may know, it is not a good idea to plant new roses in a bed that has previously contained roses as they suffer from replant disease or ‘rose sickness’. As you can imagine, that could cause major problems in beds specifically used for rose trials. In the past, the solution was to use a chemical to sterilise the soil so that replanting could take place. Now a much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach is taken. Once the trial in a particular bed is over, the roses are removed and the bed is sown with a meadow/wildflower seed mix and is left for two growing seasons. After that it can safely be replanted with roses.
After the introduction, the group got down to the serious business of judging the roses. The roses are judged on four categories: Health & Vigour; General Effect & Foliage; Beauty of Flower and Freedom of Bloom with a possible total score of 100. There were a few differences of opinion and some very harsh marking from some (there were a few scores of 0) but the overall favourite of the group was a rose called ‘For Elise’. The rose judged to have the most beautiful flowers was ‘One Love’.
It is certainly worth a trip to visit the Rose Trials, particularly if you live locally. If you would like to find out a bit more about the trials, please click here. The bed that is being judged this year is the top half of Bed 1. If you do visit you will see why only one bed is judged per year – there are hundreds of roses in the rose trial beds!
Our thanks to Derek and Norman for hosting us and for giving us so much useful information.