Exceeding expectations
Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, Ct. is one of the A.R.T.S. trial sites.

Exceeding expectations

Features - Cover Story

This year’s top performers at the American Rose Trials for Sustainability allow the entire green industry a chance to score big with rose-loving consumers.

Expectations are powerful. If you can exceed your customers’ expectations, they will think of you fondly and will buy from you again and again. Their success becomes your success.

Of all ornamentals, customers have high-performance expectations for roses. We know your customers have high expectations because we’ve asked them. In a survey of gardening customers, public garden professionals, and industry members, we found they all had surprisingly similar responses to what they expect and value from garden roses. Everyone highly valued (1) disease and pest resistance (i.e. plant health) without the use of chemical sprays, (2) a pleasing appearance with minimal care, and (3) attractive bloom coverage throughout the season.

So, how do you find roses that surpass those high expectations? For reliable, unbiased, scientifically-based rose performance information you can trust The American Rose Trials for Sustainability (A.R.T.S.).

A.R.T.S. is an independent, non-profit, two-year scientific, multi-site, regional plant trial, evaluating the newest roses coming to market under low-input conditions. Low-input conditions mean that plants are grown in a “no spray” environment that includes no applications of fungicides, insecticides, or miticides, and nutrition is managed through the modest addition of compost to trial beds prior to planting (i.e. no fertilizers). A.R.T.S. has designed its trialing program around your customers’ high expectations and offers reliable information on the garden performance of the newest roses available today. Most importantly, the A.R.T.S. trial sites are located at multiple locations within the unique climate regions of the United States, most likely including a garden with very similar growing conditions to those faced by you and your customers.

Each year, through the Local Artist award program, A.R.T.S. makes recommendations based on the regional performance data collected by its evaluation teams over the past two years. For a rose to win an A.R.T.S. Local Artist award in a particular region, it has to score as well or better than the mean average performance of the two high-performance control cultivars (Double Knock Out and Sunrise Sunset) that are planted at every site for comparison. This year a dozen roses delivered that high level of performance and some even won in multiple regions. Pink Freedom (‘WEKpumpahor’) won in five different climate regions (see the Köppen Climate Region map on page 12) and was therefore designated as an A.R.T.S. Master Rose (the only A.R.T.S. Master Rose for 2022). The Master Rose award is given to any rose that wins in four or more climate regions in recognition of its broad adaptability.

At Last (‘HORcogjill’)

Spring Meadow Nursery, DFB regional winner. This healthy, compact floribunda bears clusters of sweetly fragrant double apricot blooms throughout the growing season.

Brick House (‘MEItraligh’)

Star Roses and Plants, CFA, CFB, and CSA regional winner. Clusters of dark-red blooms cover this healthy, mounded shrub rose and contrasts well against the glossy, thick foliage.

Candy Cane Cocktail (‘MEIriansois’)

Star Roses and Plants, CFB regional winner. Double white blooms are dramatically splashed with pink and carmine at the petal edges. Blooms are borne in small clusters on a healthy upright shrub rose.

Easy on the Eyes (‘WEKswechefy’)

Weeks Roses, CFA, and DFB regional winner. Abundant clusters of creamy-white, semi-double blooms open revealing their rich purple centers. This healthy shrub rose has a pleasant fragrance.

Golden Dragon

Altman Plants, DFB, and H regional winner. Bright yellow, high-centered blooms stand out against the dark green foliage of this healthy floribunda.

Head Over Heels (‘BAIeels’)

Bailey Nurseries, CFA, DFB, and H regional winner. Very double light lavender to pink blooms cover this compact healthy shrub rose throughout the season. The blooms have a sweet fragrance.

Pink Freedom (‘WEKpumpahor’)

Weeks Roses, CFA, CSA, DFA, DFB, and H regional winner and A.R.T.S. Master Rose winner. Captivatingly fragrant, double, pink blooms that open flat to reveal yellow stamens rise atop this healthy, vigorous shrub rose.

Pinkerbelle (‘MEIvanae’)

Star Roses and Plants, CFA, CFB, DFB regional winner. Flushes of delightfully fragrant, double, multitoned pink to soft lavender flowers are produced throughout the season on this healthy hybrid tea.

Sweet Spirit (‘MEIthatie’)

Star Roses and Plants, CFA regional winner Sweetly fragrant, deep-pink, hybrid tea shaped blooms rise above this healthy grandiflora’s dark green foliage.

The Champion Sunblush (‘MEItitka’)

Greenleaf Nursery Company, CFA, DFA, and DFB regional winner. This wildly colorful, healthy shrub rose bears loads of single yellow blooms that transition to pink as they age. The mixture of newly opened yellow and older pink blooms is stunning.

The Grand Champion Red Rose (‘MEImacota’)

Greenleaf Nursery Company, CFA, DFA, and DFB regional winner. Healthy, glossy, dark green foliage provides perfect backdrop for the double, round red blooms of this robust shrub rose.

True Love

Altman Plants, DFB regional winner. Bright red, very double, round blooms cover this dense, low growing, healthy floribunda.

For more: www.TrustedRoses.org