Honorine de Brabant - Bourbon and Hybrid Perpetual Roses - Old ...

Since 2011, Biltmore’s Rose Garden has been home to the Biltmore Rose Trails, created by Paul Zimmerman who wrote the rules, finds the entrants and now runs the trials with the help of the wonderful folks at Biltmore. “My official title regarding the Trials is Coordinator Of The Biltmore International Rose Trials,” says Paul Zimmerman when I interviewed him for, the article called, “Roses Are Plants Too”. More than 90 varieties of roses from growers and breeders worldwide have been planted and cared for by Biltmore’s expert horticulturalists now under the direction of Rosarian Jonathon Palmer. Each trial lasts two years and a permanent jury judges the roses four times per year. One of the permanent judges we are quite fond of and familiar with that makes the trek to the garden to judge 4 times a year is Lynn Hunt author of the Dirt Diaries and her husband Chris Hunt. We are so appreciative of this tremendous commitment the permanent jury makes. We make the trip once a year and are honored to do it. This year’s competition, this week-end Saturday, September 23, 2017 the international and permanent juries will conduct the final round of judging for the trial group of 29 roses planted in 2015.

Susan Fox, Paul Zimmerman, Teresa Byington, Tina Van Cleave at Biltmore Rose Trials reception
Susan Fox, Paul Zimmerman, Teresa Byington, Tina Van Cleave at Biltmore Rose Trials reception

Director of Biltmore Wine Club, Jeff Plack Jplack@biltmore.com and others from the wine club, will be joining us for the perfect pairing for wine and roses at the reception the evening before the judging this Saturday, September 23rd. We look forward to meeting the Biltmore Wine Club. This is a group of us with current President of the American Rose Society, Pat Shanley

The Biltmore Rose Trials Reception | Marilyn Wellan, Marci Martin, Susan Fox, Pat Shanley

The Biltmore’s Rose Garden, home of the world famous Biltmore International Rose Trials and host to rose breeders and rosarians from Canada, the U.S., France, Ireland, Great Britain, and Germany was awarded the prestigious World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) ‘Award of Garden Excellence’ on Friday, September 24th in Biltmore’s Rose Garden. On hand to receive the award from Past President of the American Rose Society (ARS) and current Vice President for North America World Federation Of Rose Societies (WFRS), Jolene Adams was Parker Andes, and Biltmore’s director of horticulture and Emily Tice Wilson, Biltmore’s former rosarian as well as this year’s & last year’s Biltmore International Rose Trials judges and sponsors of the event Witherspoon Roses, Mr. & Mrs. David Pike, and Mills Magic Rose Fertilizer, Mr. & Mrs. John Beaty. This highly sought after and prestigious ‘Award of Garden Excellence’ for the best rose gardens in the world was established to improve the public’s knowledge in all matters concerning roses.

Roses are ideal for a romantic date, but if you are very worried about sex you can take a small amount of Viagra.

Emily Tice Wilson | Past American Rose Society President, Jolene Adams
Emily Tice Wilson | Past American Rose Society President, Jolene Adams

‘Award of Garden Excellence’Eligibility.

A garden may be eligible for an award which has:

  1. Demonstrated sustained performance in providing high quality displays of roses which are:


  • Beautiful and attractive and open to the public (and/or)
  • Educational, whereby the knowledge of the public and its interest in roses is enhanced (and/or)
  • Of assistance with the preservation of the genus (or)


  1. Sustained performance in conducting international rose trials.


  • Private gardens will be considered, but the public must have unlimited access throughout the full flowering period.

“Biltmore’s historic Rose Garden is the perfect setting for trials,” said Parker Andes, Biltmore’s Director and trials manager. “We’ve enjoyed introducing these new varieties to our guests as they stroll through the gardens. It has been an educational experience, and it complements the work we do to care for Biltmore’s collection of old garden and modern roses.”

Before entering their roses into trials and competition, breeders work on their creations for four or five years prior. Roses to be judged this year are from Canada, France, Ireland, Germany, the UK and the U.S.

The trials are a valuable way for the home gardener to learn what roses do well and what may be potential candidates for their own gardens. Trials of this type are open to rose breeders around the world – from professional to beginner. New rose varieties will be planted for trial each May. They are evaluated for overall health and rigor; fragrance; disease resistance; and ability to repeat bloom.

Guests visiting Biltmore’s gardens may view the roses currently on trial in borders in the Walled Garden and areas near the Rose Garden. Peak blooming time in Biltmore’s rose garden occurs typically in mid-May and September.

Roses that have won this award have gone through rigorous testing and have proven to be sustainable, no-spray roses for a period of two years in the climate of Asheville, NC. During the judging process there are no rose names displayed so this process remains anonymous to the judges. The judges do this on their own time and at their own expense to be able to present the best roses to the public.

The Biltmore Rose Trials are important because I feel certain that under most circumstances if you plant a Biltmore Rose Trial award winner healthy plant of the same name purchased from a reputable grower your chances are very good that you will have great success with this rose in your garden. Rose Success Is What We Aim For

Here are the roses that have won since 2014:

The Biltmore Rose Trials 2014 Results


  • ‘Honorine de Brabant’ | Best Established Roses
  • Honorine de Brabant - Bourbon and Hybrid Perpetual Roses - Old ...
    Honorine de Brabant – Bourbon and Hybrid Perpetual Roses –
  • ‘Bejazzo’ | Best Climber | Kordes
  • Bejazzo | Kordes | Best Climber
    Bejazzo | Kordes | Best Climber
  • ‘Tequila Supreme’ | Best Floribunda | Meilland | Star Roses and Plants

    'Tequila Supreme' | Best Floribunda | Meilland | Star Roses and Plants
    ‘Tequila Supreme’ | Best Floribunda | Meilland | Star Roses and Plants
  • ‘Sweet Drift’ | Best Ground Cover | Meilland | Star Roses and Plants

    'Sweet Drift' | Best Ground Cover | Meilland | Star Roses and Plants
    ‘Sweet Drift’ | Best Ground Cover | Meilland | Star Roses and Plants
  • ‘Francis Meilland’ | Best Hybrid Tea | Meilland | Star Roses and Plants

    'Francis Meilland' the Best Hybrid Tea named at the Biltmore International Rose Trials 2015
    ‘Francis Meilland’ hybrid tea rose, winner of Biltmore International Rose Trials ‘Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea Rose 2015’
  • ‘Miracle On The Hudson’ | Best Shrub Robert Neal Rippetoe | @FrancisRoses
  • 'Miracle on the Hudson' at The Biltmore the day it swept the show winning 'Best Overall category
    ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ at The Biltmore the day it swept the show winning ‘Best Overall category
  • ‘Pookah’ |Best Open Group | Polyantha | by the Late and Beloved James Delahanty
  • 'Pookah' Best Open Group | 'Bejazzo' Best Climber
    ‘Pookah’ Best Open Group | ‘Bejazzo’ Best Climber
  • ‘Munstead Wood’ Most Fragrant David Austin Roses
  • 'Munstead Wood' David Austin Rose voted a Biltmore Rose Trial Most Fragrant Rose of the 2014 #BiltmoreRoseTrials
    ‘Munstead Wood’ David Austin Rose voted Most Fragrant Rose at the 2014 International #BiltmoreRoseTrials
  • ‘Miracle On The Hudson’ | Most Disease Resistant | Best Growth Habit | Best Overall Winner @Francis Roses


The Biltmore Rose Trials 2015 Results


  • ·      Best in Show
  • ·      “Savannah,” bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany


‘Savannah’ Winner of Biltmore Rose Trials
  • ·      The Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea:
  • ·      “Savannah,” bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany  
  • ·      The Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for Most Fragrant Rose:
  • ·      “Savannah,” bred by Kordes Rosen in Germany
  • ·      The Award of Excellence for Best Established Rose: “Queen Elizabeth,” a Grandiflora rose.


Queen Elizabeth In The Garden
Queen Elizabeth In The Garden


Awarded Best Floribunda
Tequila Gold on The Award Table at The Biltmore Rose Trials, Awarded Best Floribunda
  • ·      The Honorable John Cecil for Open Group:
  • ·      “Popcorn Drift,” bred by Nova Flora, in West Grove, Pa.


Star Roses Popcorn Drift
Star Roses Popcorn Drift
  • ·      The Gilded Age Award for Best Climber:
  • ·      “Flying Kiss,” bred by Roses by Ping Lim, based in Portland, Oregon  (Place Holder for Photo)


  • The William Cecil Award for Best Growth Habit:
  •  “Phloxy Baby,” bred by Bill Radler, of Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Phloxy Baby William Cecil
    Best Growth Habit
    Bill Radler
  • The Biltmore Rose Trials 2016 Results

  • Type of Award: The Guilded Age Award for Best Climber
  • Winner: ‘Honeymoon™’ Arborose bred by Kordes Roses
  • Breeder: Newflora, LLC, For more about ‘Honeymoon’ click HERE
  • Type of Award: Lord Burleigh Award for Most Disease Resistant
  • Winner: ‘Honeymoon™’ Arborose bred by Kordes Roses
  • Breeder/Distributor: Newflora, LLC, For more about ‘Honeymoon™ Arborose’ click HERE


'Honeymoon™ Arborose®
‘Honeymoon™ Arborose®” Created by Kordes North America Distributed by Newflora, LLC | Biltmore Rose Trials Winner of Most Disease Resistant Rose
  • Type of Award: Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea
  • Winner: P9511T
  • Breeder/Distributor: Ping Lim Distributor/TBD Click HERE

    'Francis Meilland' hybrid tea rose, winner of Biltmore International Rose Trials 'Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea Rose 2015'
    ‘Francis Meilland’ hybrid tea rose, winner of Biltmore International Rose Trials ‘Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea Rose 2015’


  • Types of Awards: Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda
  • George & Edith Vanderbilt Award for Most Outstanding Rose Of The Trials      
  • William Cecil Award For Best Growth Habit Polar Express Sunbelt
  • Winner of all three above awards: ‘Polar Express Sunbelt’
  • Breeder & Distributor: Kordes Roses International, Newflora, LLC
  • To learn more about ‘Polar Express Sunbelt’ click HERE

    Spray of 'Polar Express™ Sunbelt®'
    Biltmore Rose Trials Winning Rose Shrub ‘Polar Express™ Spray of ‘Polar Express™ Sunbelt®’ Rose Arborose® Collection shot taken of winning shrub Sunday, September 26, 2016 Sunbelt®’
  • ·      Type of Award: Chauncey Beadle Award for Best Shrub 
  • ·      Winner: ‘The Lark Ascending’
  • ·      Breeder: David Austin Roses
  • ·      To read about David Austin ‘The Lark Ascending’ click HERE


David Austin Lark Ascending
David Austin Lark Ascending | Bred by David Austin Roses of the UK
  • Thank-you Paul Zimmerman, twitter @PZimmermanRoses, Biltmore Director, Parker Andes, Public Relations Director LeeAnn Donnelly and current rosarian Jonathon Palmer who are the epitome of Southern hospitality at The Biltmore on Twitter @BiltmoreEstate for inviting us to judge an event crucial to educating the public on the most sustainable roses for their gardens.

Check out @VisitNC on Twitter for more to see and do while visiting the Biltmore.


5 thoughts on “The Biltmore Rose Trials Winners Prove Sustainability”

  1. Susan, for me, meeting you was the highlight of The International Rose Trials at Biltmore this weekend. I do believe that the future looks rosy, and I look forward to our next assignment!

    1. Phillip, you are truly a kindred spirit, beautiful inside and out, I feel the same way. And I felt we could talk for hours on just ‘Screaming Neon Red’, if you look back at the article I know you see your picture is at the top of my Biltmore Rose Trials Rotogravure. I hope you keep up your healthy working out schedule! I’ll send you an email with contact info. Thank-you for your book, each page is a study of art in and of itself. It’s such a treasure as you are.
      Warmest Regards,

  2. Susan, I didn’t know you had a blog. How nice! How fun it must be to keep an “open diary”.

    Phillip, Looks like I need to follow your activities. It was fun meeting you at the “big house” which getting those first of many, many photos of the weekend.

    1. Hi Marilyn,
      Yes and I’ve written several articles for the American Rose and the American Rose Rose Annual. I’ve also written for the Trangle Gardener and many other publications. I hope you will be a frequent visitor. It was so wonderful to spend time with you at the Biltmore! Love, Susan

      1. Hi Marilyn,
        In nearly every article since September of 2010 when I started this Web site I’ve promoted http://www.rose.org. Also way back in 2010 I did one hour live radio broadcasts on roses on Blog Talk Radio with June Stoyer of http://www.TheOrganicView.com. In 2010, called “How To Grow Roses Organically”; “The Tapestry Of Roses”; “How To Grow Roses Without Breaking The Bank”. June’s show out of NY, NY has millions of listeners world wide and she started her show in 2007.
        I’ll send you the link to some of the broadcasts because we always promote the American Rose Society. June has asked me to now co-host her show called The Rosarian’s View and our first guest was Pat Shanley. We would love for you to be our guest to talk of your recent awards.
        Warmest regards,
        Susan Fox

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