First decide on the types of roses. The colour range is very wide, probably greater than in any other flower. Roses of one colour, two colours and multi-colours are available in innumerable shades. You can choose from bush roses, standards, climbers, ramblers, miniatures or shrub roses.

Roses come in so many types, plant sizes and forms that an entire landscape planting could be made from them alone. The best way to judge roses is to see them growing. Many public gardens_ botanical gardens and parks make a feature of rose collections. Information on varieties is supplied also in the publications of the National Rose Societies in Australia and New Zealand. Because varieties available change from season to season it is importan: to obtain a current catalogue from a reputable seedsman.

Many want to grow only fragrant roses. It is often claimed that modern varieties are scentless, but there have always been roses with little or no scent and many present-day varieties are just as fragran: as the old-timers. Almost all rose blooms will seem scentless unless the weather and atmospheric conditions are just right, because fragrance depends on the evaporation of essential oils, which occurs chiefly in a warm, humid atmosphere. During cold. wet spells even the most highly scented varieties may have little or no fragrance.

Rose hybridists do not ignore fragrance when breeding new varieties, but, unfortunately, fragrance is a recessive, not a dominant characteristic. If a new plant has vigour, colour, abundance of bloom and all the other virtues
but is lacking in scent, the hybridist would be foolish to pass it over. On the other hand, if he has one which is strongly scented but is a weak grower, he will not offer it to the public.

Many new varieties of roses are introduced each year. No rose is released unless it is known to be superior to other varieties in its class. Qualities considered are colour its novelty, clarity, richness and stability during extremes in weather bud form, flower form, doubleness, flower size, amount of bloom, strength and length of stem, foliage, disease resistance, plant habit and hardiness.

Some firms have established gardens where new varieties, both local and imported are tested ; if a variety does not come up to the mark, it is never catalogued for sale. Similarly, a rose that is good only in a limited geographical area will not be profitable. American and European bodies have exacting testing programmes of new varieties. There is, for instance, the All-American Rose Selections testing programme, operated by leading commercial rose-bush growers, in which professional judges award points to numbered entries in trial gardens located in major climatic regions. Seedlings that score sufficiently well over a two-year period are given the A.A.R.S. award. The Royal National Rose Society of Great Britain also has a testing programme at its trial grounds at Chiswell Green, St Albans, and makes awards which are considered by New Zealand and Australian nurserymen when they are importing new varieties from overseas, but they still have to be proved here.

Hybridists must continue to offer new rose varieties regularly, not only because the public demands them but also to replace those that fall by the wayside. As with other products of which new models must be advertised each year, so it is with roses. Occasionally a newly introduced rose proves to be sensational and sets the style for future novelties. Such roses have been Peace (originally known as Mme A. Meilland), Super Star, Queen Elizabeth, Montezuma, Circus, Fashion, Spartan and Orange Triumph. So successful were these varieties that hybridists have used them as parents for scores of introductions. The popularity of the parents may continue, although it is doubtful in the face of the increased challenge from some of their offspring. Other varieties such as Etoile d'Hollande, Crimson Glory, Radiance and Talisman have had a very long run but are gradually losing ground to the best of the new ones.
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