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The Greener View: American Garden Rose Selection 2023 Winners

Jeff Rugg on

The American Garden Rose Selection (AGRS) judges have announced the newest roses to be selected in their testing program. This was a bountiful year. There are five new winners.

The AGRS program is the replacement of the All-America Rose Selection (AARS) program that ran from 1940 until 2013. Roses that have been selected in either program are the best ones for gardeners to try. Only about 4% of the roses tested in the AARS program were chosen for a national award.

Roses entered into the AGRS are tested for two years in six different geographical regions, each containing two test gardens. Most of these test gardens are in botanic gardens and all are open to the public.

The roses are evaluated five times per growing season. Evaluators are looking for the same characteristics you would like in a garden rose. Disease resistance is highly valued since it will give you a rewarding experience with less care required.

They also judge each plant on its bloom abundance, bloom form and attractiveness, fragrance, rebloom habit, aging quality of blooms, hardiness in cold and heat, vigor, foliage proportion and attractiveness, and growth habit. In order for a variety to be granted an award, it must demonstrate superior performance in at least three of the six regions entered. In addition, awards are given for fragrance to help guide consumers who desire roses for their fragrance.

We start with Brick House Pink. It has bright pink flowers that start in the spring and last until the first frost. There are about 15 petals in an open cup shape. The plant stays very bushy at just 2.5 feet tall and wide, and it can be used in large flowerpots. It did best in the North Central, Northwest and Southwest regions.

Brindabella Roses are a group of tough shrub roses that have excellent disease resistance. The newest rose in the group is Pink Princess. The 25- to 30-petal flowers are very fragrant. It grows 4 feet tall and wide. It did best in the South Central, Southeast and Southwest regions. It is also a fragrance award winner.


Magnolia Memories flowers are light pink and reminiscent of magnolia flowers. The 20-petal flowers are on top of 6-foot-tall plants that can make a nice hedge. The plants are disease resistant. It is a fragrance award winner.

The Oso Easy group of roses are very dependable landscape roses. The newest addition to the group is called Urban Legend. The 15- to 20-petal flowers open wide to display a large cluster of bright orange stamens. This plant seems to always be in bloom. The disease-resistant leaves stay dark green all summer. The 3-foot-tall plants can be used in large masses in the landscape or in individual containers. Urban Legend can be matched with other Oso Easy roses such as Double Red to make a longer-lasting impact. It did best in the Northeast, North Central, Southeast, South Central and Southwest regions.

Petite Knock Out is the first miniature Knock Out rose. The 1.5-inch flowers are bright fire-engine red and seem to bloom continuously. The plants are only 18 inches tall and can be used in masses in the landscape as a ground cover or in patio pots. This variety can be used with other Knock Out roses as a border hedge or to create changes in height. It did best in the Northwest, South Central and Southeast regions.


Email questions to Jeff Rugg at To find out more about Jeff Rugg and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at




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