A Northland woman can lay claim to being the best rose grower in the country.

Janice Walker picked up the champion of champion mini roses and the champion of champion large roses awards at the NZ Rose Society's national spring show, which was held at Forum North over the weekend.

Northland District Rose Society president Viv McCullough, who was the show's convenor said the show was fantastic and there had been a steady stream of people through to admire the roses. "It's been a great success."

She said 40 exhibitors from all over the country had come north to display their roses and contest the various classes.


Mrs McCullough said the standard of roses was exceptional, which was even more impressive given the adverse weather growers had experienced recently.

She said substance, freshness and balance were paramount to a good bloom. The substance and freshness refers to the texture of the petals, while the balance is how it fits with its foliage.

Mrs McCullough said the exhibitors start preparing for the show weeks in advance, and a lot of skill went into having roses just right.

She said decisions such as when to prune and whether to cover the rose with an umbrella all played important parts.

This was the fourth time since the 1990s the national show has been held in Northland but Mrs McCullough said it could be the last, as the society is getting smaller and the members are getting older.

There are around 40 members, many of whom are in their 80s.