Six years ago, Altman Plants co-founder Ken Altman put the company on a mission to open more minds to the living richness of roses. True Bloom, a new series of roses from one of the largest commercial growers in the U.S., is the culmination of careful research and nurturing development.
The Vista, California-based company’s rose breeding program, led by noted rosarian Ping Lim, started crossing plants in 2012 — lots of them. Since then, his team has crossed 30,000 roses annually from 2,000 combinations, generating 300,000 seeds each year, making Altman Plants one of the largest breeders of garden roses.
The company is now preparing to bring to market the program's first six varieties, all of which embody those easy-care, true-rose truths. The True Bloom series is intended to foster a new perception about roses: that they can be as simple to grow and care for as they are beautiful. There is no special training or magic sauce required to transform these six roses into thriving performers.
During this process of discovery, the breeding program developed a new class of roses: the Hybrid Tea Shrub. For now, the first six True Bloom varieties are largely unknown to the general public, but they are far from unfamiliar to rosarians and other passionate rose watchers in and around the trade.
Several have already earned prestigious honors:
• True Gratitude (PPAF) (aka Flying Kiss): the Gilded Age Award for Best Climber, Biltmore International Rose Trials, 2015
• True Passion (PPAF) (aka Double 10): the Pauline Merrell Award for Best Hybrid Tea, Biltmore International Rose Trials, 2016; and it's an A.R.T.S. Master Rose for 2018, American Rose Trials for Sustainability
• True Friendship (PPAF) (aka Goldmine): Gold Medal - Floribunda, Rose Hills International Rose Trials, 2016
• Lion King (PPAF): the Edith Wharton Award for Best Floribunda, Biltmore International Rose Trials, 2017
Clockwise from top left: True Gratitude, True Passion, True Friendship, True Sincerity, True Inspiration, True Integrity