SAN FRANCISCO, July 26, 2004 - What makes a rose a champion? Is it the striking colors, a profuse bloom, unparalleled disease resistance, or an unbelievably sweet fragrance? For the best of the best, these are but some of their amazing characteristics. The All-America Rose Selections (AARS) used 15 critical traits in total – including hardiness, vigor and novelty – to select winners for 2005, the 66th year of recognizing outstanding new roses.
After two years of rigorous appraisal in test gardens across the United States, four roses have earned the right to be called champions. AARS has honored DayDreamTM, ElleTM, Lady Elsie MayTM, and About FaceTM as the absolute best new roses of the next growing season.
These four champions are sure to reinvigorate the passion and romance in every rose lover – and bring a renewed sense of youth and beauty to every garden. “We are truly thrilled with the 2005 winners,” said AARS President Charlie Anderson. “They display a powerful combination of beauty and practicality that make them perfect for any garden. I’m continually amazed by the ability of rose breeders to produce such vibrant, hardy, and spectacular varieties.”
DayDream may seem like a fantasy, but it’s as perfectly real and delightful as a rose can be. It is a low-growing compact landscape shrub rose reaching just 2’ in height.
A unique color in the shrub category, the massive clusters of lightly scented, fuchsia-pink blooms will flower all summer long. Foliage is glossy, deep green and highly disease resistant. DayDream’s moderate size and neat round habit make it an appropriate choice for a variety of garden situations. It is crown hardy to Zone 4.
DayDream was hybridized by Ping Lim and is introduced by Bailey Nurseries of St. Paul, MN.
Chic as a Parisian fashion house and sleek as the world-renowned supermodel, Elle combines a strong spicy, citrussy fragrance with a high-centered classic rose bud. She is a hybrid tea that produces shell pink flowers with deep yellow undertones.
The dark glossy foliage provides a nice contrast to the soft, non-fading flower, and offers above average disease tolerance to mildew and blackspot. Elle’s flowers bloom on 10-14 inch stems and are 4-5 inches wide with a petal count of 50-55.
Elle was developed by Meilland International and is being introduced by The Conard-Pyle Company/Star Roses of West Grove, PA.
A rose is a rose is a rose, right? Not when we’re talking about Lady Elsie May. She’s a rose unlike any other.
An upright, spreading shrub rose, Lady Elsie May offers a vigorous, uniform growth habit and excellent disease resistance. An abundance of flowers bloom in clusters on strong 12-20 inch cutting stems. Each flower is approximately 3 ½ to 4 inches wide and has 12 –14 petals. The fragrance is slight and the foliage is dark green and rugged.
Hybridized by Reinhard Noack, Lady Elsie May is being introduced by Angelica Nurseries of Kennedyville, MD.
About Face is a grandiflora with a novel ‘backwards’ bicolor whose light color of deep golden yellow is carried on the inside of the petals with a darker bronzy orange-red backside.
This super-vigorous plant yields long stems with full old-fashioned blossoms that catch attention throughout the life of the bloom. The flowers, up to 5 inches in diameter, offer a mild fresh apple fragrance and are beautifully complemented by lush, clean green leaves.
Hybridized by Tom Carruth, About Face is being introduced by Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower, Upland, CA.
AARS winning roses are all judged on 15 key gardening characteristics including disease resistance, hardiness, color, form, flowering effect, fragrance, vigor and novelty. Winners must perform exceptionally well over a two-year period in numerous test gardens throughout the United States.
DayDream, Elle, Lady Elsie May, and About Face will be available for the 2005 planting season through selected catalogs and at retail garden stores nationwide.
All-America Rose Selections is a nonprofit association dedicated to the introduction and promotion of exceptional roses. Since 1938, the AARS trial program has encouraged the rose industry to improve the vitality, strength and beauty of roses for American home gardens. Today, the AARS program is one of the most successful and highly regarded of its kind, having brought to the forefront such roses as Peace, Mister Lincoln, Knock Out, and Bonica.