Visitors to the Norfolk based rose grower this year might be limited, but Whartons Garden Roses continues to invest in research and development by trialling new roses varieties.
Over 350 varieties are on trial from Europe’s top breeders, many having exclusive agreements with Wharton’s. Breeders include Poulsen in Denmark, Meilland in France, Noack, Kordes and Tantau in Germany, and UK based Gareth Fryer Roses, Warners’ Roses and Peter Beales.
The British Association of Roses Breeders ‘Rose of the Year’ competition entries are also included in the trials.
Trials are held in the field and then in pots and can be assessed for up to five years to ensure they’ll perform in both the retail environment and the UK’s gardens.
Managing Director Robert Wharton said ‘this type of research and development is essential in allowing us to make a proper assessment of new varieties and ensures our range is constantly improved. We traded throughout the lockdown period with roses proving popular with customers offering click and collect and mail order businesses. Since trading restrictions were lifted demand has remained strong. It’s clear roses still remain the nations favourite flower. Thankfully we increased production by 150,000 units in 2018 and these will be online for the coming season, helping to meet anticipated demand’.