Dianne Oxberry was one of the BBC’s longest-serving presenters, beloved by viewers who welcomed her into their homes on a daily basis. As the comedian Peter Kay famously remarked when gate-crashing her live TV weather report ‘Dianne Oxberry… God love her… you’ve made it sunshine for everybody’. He wasn’t wrong.
When she died so suddenly of ovarian cancer in January 2019, it was shocking. For her family and friends it was devastating, as you might expect. But what nobody expected was the mass outpouring of grief and expressions of love from thousands and thousands of viewers and listeners. Most of these people had never met her, but after 24 years of broadcasting in the North West, Dianne had become a part of the fabric of daily life for so many.
Her husband, Ian Hindle, realised that there was an opportunity to perhaps help prevent other women from dying of this hideous disease. So, with the aid of friends and family, he founded the Dianne Oxberry Trust with a mission to raise symptom awareness, funds for research and hope for families affected by ovarian cancer.
One of Dianne’s favourite programmes of the year was her annual live broadcast from the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park. This year, her colleagues from BBC North West Tonight wanted to create a Sunshine Garden in her memory and at the heart of it, a specially grown rose to honour Dianne, created by internationally renowned breeders Rosen Tantau from Germany and launched by Fryer’s Roses, part of the Blue Diamond Group of Garden Centres.
The task of naming the rose was given to Dianne’s husband.
Ian chose to name the rose Florida Sunset explaining, ‘A long time ago Dianne fell in love with a place called Anna Maria Island on the Gulf Coast of Florida. So much so that we spent our holidays there every single year and it’s a very special place to us as a family. The colour of this beautiful rose reminds me of the spectacular sunsets we’d watch together, that brought Dianne so much joy’.
The rose, Florida Sunset, is a Hybrid Tea rose with rosy pink, dainty, ruffle shaped petals, which darken to a deep, sunset pink near the centre. With a medium strength fragrance, compact, bushy habit and good disease resistance. This rose is ideal for planting in the garden or in containers. The Florida Sunset rose – synonym Tan 12639 – grows to a height of approximately 70-100cm.
Thanks to the generosity of Fryer’s Roses and the Blue Diamond Group, £1 for every Florida Sunset rose that is sold through Blue Diamond Garden Centres and Fryer’s Roses online, will be donated to the Dianne Oxberry Trust.
There will be a press call on Wednesday 17th July at 11am in the BBC North West Tonight Sunshine Garden.
At that press call, the Dianne Oxberry Trust and Fryer’s Roses – part of the Blue Diamond Group, will announce the unveiling of a unique rose, bred especially to honour beloved broadcaster Dianne Oxberry, who died in January of this year of ovarian cancer.
The event kicks off with a song from the children’s choir of Bollinbrook School in Macclesfield. BBC North West Tonight presenters will then give background on why they decided to build the Sunshine Garden in memory of their colleague Dianne, chat to the designer Lee Burkhill and explain their plans for the garden to live on as it is relocated to a hospice after the flower show is finished.
Dianne Oxberry Trust, trustee Jackie Brambles, will then introduce Dianne’s husband – and founder of the Dianne Oxberry Trust – Ian Hindle, together with Jill Kerr from Fryer’s Roses. There will be a brief chat on the creation of this stunning fundraising rose and Ian will recount the story behind the name he chose for it – Florida Sunset – before unveiling the rose itself.
How to order
Order at stand FM 62 in the Floral Marquee or by telephoning Fryer’s Roses direct on 01565 755455 or order online at www.fryersroses.co.uk
Bare root roses will be dispatched from November 2019 onwards. Potted roses will be dispatched from April 2020. (Subject to availability and while stocks last).
Where to buy from
The rose will be available to buy as a potted rose from all Blue Diamond Garden Centres from April 2020, (subject to availability and while stocks last).
Cost of the rose
Bare root roses can be purchased at a cost of £12 per rose (excluding delivery) (through Fryer's Roses online and mail order only).
Potted roses are £17.99 per rose (excluding delivery).
For online and mail-order sales, delivery charges apply. Please see Fryer’s Roses website for details, www.fryersroses.co.uk
For more information on Dianne Oxberry Trust, visit www.dianneoxberrytrust.org