Roses Are Plants Too!

Meet Our New National Rose Trials

The Founding Committee – From left to right:  Jeff Wyckoff, Pat Shanley, Mike Shoup, Clayton Beaty, Steve Hutton, Pam Smith & Gene Waering – founding members.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Pat Shanley
The Founding Committee – From left to right:  Jeff Wyckoff, Pat Shanley, Mike Shoup, Clayton Beaty, Steve Hutton, Pam Smith & Gene Waering – founding members.
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Pat Shanley

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!

Happy Roseing!

View Comments


  1. HazelQ 11/19/2012

    Are these trials sanctioned by the American Rose Society?

  2. Pshanley 11/20/2012

    The American Garden Rose Trials are independent of the American Rose Society. Members of the Founding Committe are also members of ARS however the two are separate entities that will work together for the benefit of all concerned with the rose.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest