Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Rose Garden - Finding the Rose


In the end we found it. After much searching and contact with over a dozen of the country's leading Rose Breeders, we found ourself just up the road, in a field behind Knutsford Service Station.


This is how we found our Rose labelled at Gareth Fryer's Roses. We met Gareth, a third generation Rose Breeder whose family had been breeding roses in the area for over 100 years, in his multi-coloured rose field. We told him our three main characteristics - "old" type, pure white and fragrant - he thought for a second and said he knew of the one that might fit the bill.

We turned round to look in to the field, and one rose literally stood a foot higher than any of the others - tall and strikingly white. T647.

We went for a closer look  and were sold immediately. It is a really sturdy plant, with a significant deep green trunk and really impressive thorns. The bloom was exactly what we'd been searching for, a china/porcelain white, and full and blousy. And big - almost 13cm in diameter.

Gareth told us that he had bred a rose for Spode once before - in the 1970's, when the factory was known as Copelands. It was called "Spode Rose". That rose had long since become uncommercial, but the coincidence was interesting to us, and the whole scenario felt right to us.

From here, the process is going to be interesting. We have found the Rose. We want to call it the "Spode China Rose", and as Gareth "held the naming rights" to the previous one, there will be no problem, but as a matter of courtesy we want to approach Portmeirion, the parent company of Spode, to let them know about our project and naming plans.

There will be a further reason to talk to Portmeirion, as we are no going to have to find  a series of funding initiatives, as we not only have to cover the costs of the naming process, but we need to bring the rose to the commercial sector, and find it a market to ensure its longevity. In the harsh world of Rose Breeding, commercial success is everything. We also need to start thinking about raising the money needed for the full renovation of The Rose Garden for 2015. That's going to mean some partnership working, with companies like Spode, and political bodies like the City Council and Funding bodies such as the Arts Council. We'll be looking at Crowdfunding options, and advanced Rose sales and many other options.

Spode China Rose 

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