A review of roses grown in Tasmania over the past 50 years or so involves a huge number, far too many to describe here, so I have decided to look at some that have survived up to the present day.
Our nursery people are guided in their choosing by wholesale importers who in turn are guided by the reputation of each hybridist and reports of rose societies in the countries where the new rose was first released.
These nurseries can do no better than choose in accordance with these varied recommendations, and yet we find that many varieties do better with us in some parts of Australia than they did overseas while others are disappointing.
For this reason it is important to trial a great number of new varieties each year.
Thankfully these trials are undertaken by rose company representatives in each state of Australia.
This means when we inquire about a newly released rose, we can be given good, reliable advice as to whether it will perform to its best under our climatic conditions.
Many new roses disappear from catalogues within a few years or just fade away, so the roses I have chosen were not only popular in the mid-20th century, but also have survived under Tasmanian conditions and are still grown today.
Rosa Christian Dior bred by Francis Meilland in 1958 is probably the best of the dark red roses and flowers freely with long, strong stems. Its light, fruity fragrance is an added bonus.
The seed parents are (Independence x Happiness), the pollen parents are (Peace x Happiness). It's an absolute stunner!
Rosa Peace also bred by Francis Meilland in 1935 is one of the most famous roses of our time with exquisite double yellow and pink flowers with lightly ruffled petal edging.
This beauty was named the Rose of the 20th Century and comes with an impressive pedigree.
It was originally called Rosa Madame A Meilland, but was renamed on April 29, 1945, to Rosa Peace, the day of its launch in the US, coincidentally marking the very day that Berlin fell.
Rosa Pink Peace grows vigorously in most parts of Tasmania bearing loosely-formed deep pink flowers with a sweet fragrance.
Another Meilland rose introduced in 1958 it is the result crossing of (Peace x Monique ) x (Peace x Mrs John Laing).
How could this rose be anything else but a super star?
Rosa Blue Moon is a timeless classic bearing stunning, highly fragrant, double deep lavender flowers with up to 40 petals.
Bred by Mathias Tantae Jr. in 1964 it will be grown in gardens for many generations to come such is its beauty and endurance.
Another rose bred by Tantae Jr. in 1960 is Rosa Super Star winner of many international awards for its perfect form and brilliant double orange/red blooms.
Rosa Pink Parfait, a floribunda raised by Herbert Swim in 1960, is not a big rose but is very well formed with long-lasting blooms of soft double salmon/ pink with creamy petals.
The seed parent is First Love and the pollen parent Pinocchio.
Rosa Silver Lining is one of the loveliest of all pink roses, combining a strong perfume with clusters of double flowers.
Bred by Alexander Dickson III in 1958 it is still rated as one of the best exhibition roses.
The climber Rosa Lorraine Lee is still immensely popular due to its winter flowering habit.
The secret to its success is to prune in summer instead of July.
Bred by Alister Clark in 1924 this rose with soft-coloured blooms is probably the most popular of all Australian-bred roses.
The new season's rose stocks are available now with a good range to choose from, but I enjoy the 'hunt' for these older varieties that have so much history attached to them.
It gives me great satisfaction when I 'discover' one of these survivors.