Champion rose winner, Gloria Brady, with her pick of the bunch.
Champion rose winner, Gloria Brady, with her pick of the bunch.

Gloria’s got the pick of the bunch

DROUGHT conditions haven’t stopped avid gardners from producing quality roses at this year’s St Mark’s Women’s Guild 57th Rose Festival.

Competition entries we higher than expected given how dry the landscape is, with 96 roses vying for their chance to be crowned champion.

President of the guild, Winsone Anderson said that despite some roses having windblown leaves, judge Claire Cunningham was impressed with the quality.

“All of the roses are very fragment this year, and that was sort of the theme that I wanted to run with this year,” Mrs Anderson said.

“Take time to smell the roses, especially in this time of, well, depression really — with the drought, everyone sort of needs cheering up.”

There could be only one champion rose, and this year’s prize went to first time winner, Gloria Brady.

“I enter roses every year, since my husband — he’s the grower — decided we would grow roses, I think this is our 11th year entering,” Mrs Brady said.

It’s not the first time this rose bush has been to the festival, but Mrs Brady said she’s extremely excited and proud to be the overall winner.

“It is wonderful, because that rose has a lot of memories for me,” she said.

“We planted it about five years ago, and I’ve entered it every year — it must be the weather conditions.”

Other winners included Margret Phelan, who had the reserve champion rose; Cheryl Sondergeld with her bol of roses in mixed colours; Di Egginton with her three pink roses; and Vivian Bond with her florabunda.