At the end of June, the garden of castle 't Hooghe in Kortrijk, Belgium has traditionally been entirely devoted to roses. The Province of West Flanders, the City of Kortrijk and Inagro organize the International Rose Examination there every year. Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the 2020 prize challenge could not continue as planned. Only the members of the permanent jury judged the roses. For example, the grower of the best-performing new rose received the 59th honorary prize 'Golden Rose' recently on 26 June. The Rose Garden is open to the public this summer and admission is free.
The 2020 Golden Rose, the Rose D'or of breeder Rosa Mundo
During the last weekend of June, an international jury of rose connoisseurs will usually look for the best-performing new rose in the Rose Garden in Kortrijk. Sixteen rose growers from five countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France and Germany) took their chance this year in the International Rose Examination. All selectors brought together no fewer than 87 roses.
Adjusted examination due to coronavirus
This year, the Province of West Flanders, the City of Kortrijk and Inagro had to observe the measures related to the spread of the coronavirus. They followed developments closely. "By mutual agreement, we decided at the end of May not to assemble the international jury and leave the examination to the permanent jury," says Kathleen Storme from Inagro. In doing so, they followed the example of many other rose gardens in Europe. The result of 2020 is therefore based on six assessments by the permanent jury, spread over two cultivation years.
“The members of the permanent jury carried out the inspection according to the customary procedure. So technically the evaluation went as usual,” it is said. The growers of the best classified rose varieties were awarded a prize on Friday, June 26. The rose grower who achieved the highest number of points received the honorary prize: the so-called “Golden Rose”. The organizers hope that the International Rose Examination next year can take place in normal circumstances.
Rose examination rewards strong, well-growing and beautiful roses
All roses that were eligible for the title have not been on the market for at least five years. The roses are judged on their suitability for the growing conditions prevailing in (West) Flanders and are therefore not treated against diseases. The judges examine the characteristics of 'crop', 'disease', 'flowering' and 'scent'. 30% of the points go to the vigor, the general development and foliage, 30% to the resistance to unfavourable growing conditions and diseases, 30% to the richness of flowering, the decorative value of the flowerpot, the flower sequence, the shape, the colour and 10 % to the fragrance of the flowers.
Variants that were awarded prizes are guaranteed to be strong, well-growing and beautiful roses. The weather conditions were a major challenge this year. “Very early in the season, the roses were suffering from drought. In full bloom they had to consume a lot of water, ” as Kathleen Storme explains. “Such weather conditions are a breeding ground for diseases. The strong, resistant roses have therefore fully proven themselves.”
With the examination, the Province of West Flanders, the City of Kortrijk and Inagro want to inform rose lovers, selectors, the trade and professional growers objectively about the value of the new roses on the market. The rose growers will mention the results of the different rose testing grounds in their catalogs. This is an interesting guideline for the flower lover who wants to buy roses.
Free visit to the International Rose Garden
Those who are interested can view the roses themselves this summer. The Rose Garden is open to the public daily and a visit is free of charge. Every rose or garden lover will find something to their liking. In the demonstration garden there are more than 200 different varieties on show. The demonstration garden is divided into the "Cut Rose Garden", the "Golden Rose Garden", the "English Garden" and the "French Garden". Each rose or rose group displays the name of the rose and the grower. The whole is located in a lovely, green frame. The Rose Garden is at its best from mid-June to late August.
Interested parties who would like to know more about roses can request the visitor's guide free of charge via +32 (0)51 27 32 00 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Groups can also visit the Rose Garden accompanied by a guide (reservation via the Tourist Office of the City of Kortrijk). It is necessary to respect the measures from the federal government due to the spread of the coronavirus.