All American Rose Selections (AARS), a national testing organization for roses, went out of business three years ago. In its wake was formed The American Garden Rose Selections™ (AGRS), a non-profit consortium of rose industry professions and American Rose Society members dedicated to a national rose testing service for the average gardener.
While incorporating many of the good features of the AARS, the AGRS has made some changes to reflect the present state of rose gardening:
- Our scoring system is heavily weighted (30%) for disease resistance.
- A Fragrance Award is given for the most fragrant entry with a good disease resistance score.
- Regionality: recognition that very few rose varieties grow equally well in all parts of the country. We have 12 AGRS test gardens located throughout the United States, divided into 6 Regions. An AGRS winner must achieve an 80% score in at least 3 of these regions to be declared a winner.
Regional and Fragrance Winners for 2016 have recently been announced. They are:
- Regional Winner: Look-a-Likes ‘Phloxy Baby’, a shrub/polyantha hybridized by Will Radler of ‘Knock Out’ fame. Available only through Star Roses
- Regional Winner: ‘Thomas Affleck’, a medium-sized shrub. Available only through the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, TX.
- Fragrance Award: ‘Dee-lish’, a hybrid tea from Meilland Roses in France. Available only through Star Roses.
All will be widely available in 2016.