The four-day annual Pacific Rose Bowl Festival is on next week at the Rogers Rose Garden at Hamilton Gardens, and as usual public votes will decide the top new roses from the New Zealand Rose of the Year Trial.

Unlike most other rose competitions around the world which are judged by experts, the New Zealand Rose of the Year has been judged by the public since 2004.

The Pacific Rose Bowl Festival takes place under the Pacific Accord of Friendship. Legendary New Zealand rose breeder Dr Sam McGredy initiated the friendship affiliation with the common objective of promoting roses worldwide.

The festival is named after the trophy awarded to the winner of the New Zealand Rose of the Year Trials.

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The accord includes trial gardens in Adelaide, Australia; Rose Hills, California and Gifu, Japan. Representatives from these gardens regularly attend each other's events and are committed to promoting roses around the world.

Every year the best new roses from around the world are entered into the New Zealand Rose of the Year Trial.

Each rose is entered by a RINZ (Rose Introducers of New Zealand Ltd) representative on behalf of the breeder. To be eligible for judging a rose must be available for sale to the public.

There are beds of the new roses at the Rogers Rose Garden plus beds of past winners.
The main voting categories are: New Zealand Rose of the Year, Best New Zealand Raised Rose, Best Hybrid Tea Rose, Best Floribunda Rose, Best Climbing Rose and Best Shrub Rose, There is also a Most Fragrant Rose section and a special Children's Choice Award.

The festival runs from Tuesday November 8 with the winners announced on the afternoon on Sunday November 11.