For past several decades the All American Rose Selection trials has been our national rose trial. The AARS brand was proudly displayed on tags and in catalogues next to the roses who earned the right to receive it. But, like so many things over the past few years the economy took its toll and as of last year they ceased to exist.
This left us without a true national trial that tested the same roses in gardens all over the United States. With AARS gone we were without a national rose trial for the first time since the 1930s.
Fortunately some forward looking folks decided to do something about it.
Meet the American Garden Rose Selections™ (AGRS™)
On June 1 2012 a symposium was held as the opening event for the 2012 Great Rosarians of the World™ Lecture Series – East Coast (GROW™) in New York City. The goal of the symposium was to explore new ways the American Rose Society (ARS) and the rose industry could work together. Everyone realized as the rose industry prospers so does the ARS and vice-versa. The discussions honed in on the idea of forming a program to take the place of the AARS Trials.
The result was the idea to create a trial the would recognize roses that were easy to care for, disease resistant and suitable for different regions of the country. Roses can be entered in all the trial gardens but if a rose is outstanding in say the Southeast, that will be noted as being a great rose for that region. That takes the pressure off a rose having to succeed in very climate in our vast country. If a rose did well in all regions so much the better! The rules and protocols are based on the German ADR Trials.
As of now the following gardens have been established as test gardens. There should be more to come.
Portland International Test Garden, Portland, OR, Harry Landers, Curator/Manager
Edisto Memorial Garden, Orangeburg, SC, Jay Hiers, Curator/Manager
San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, San Jose, CA, Beverly Hopper, Curator/Manager
Trail Rose Garden, Farmers’ Branch, TX, Pam Smith, Curator/Manager
LSU Burden Center Garden, Baton Rouge, LA, Allen Owings, Curator/Manager
Master Gardeners’ Rose Garden, Kennewick, WA, Joyce MacDonald, Curator/Manager
Stanley Park of Westfield Garden, Westfield, MA, Paul Kuczynski, Curator/Manager
Columbus Park of Roses, Columbus, OH, Joe Sulak, Curator/Manager
Chicago Botanical Garden, Glencoe, IL, Kris Jarantoski, Curator/Manager
Reiman Gardens, Ames, IA, Sarah Rummery, Curator/Manager
The Arboretum, State Botanical of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, Marcia Ferris, Curator/Manager
The Members of the Founding Committee/Board of Directors are: Clayton Beaty, Steve Hutton, Pat Shanley, Mike Shoup, Pam Smith, Gene Waering, Jeff Wyckoff
The Members of the Advisory Committee are: Dr. David Byrne, Tyler Francis, Jay Hiers, Clair Martin, Dr. Allen Owings, Dr. Malcolm Manners, Jeffery Ware, Paul Zimmerman.
Entries are all ready being accepted for 2013 and that means we wil have initial results in a few years. As the trials progress. This new Trial is very exciting for the world of roses and in particular garden roses. And the winner is – You and gardeners everywhere!
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