Sam McGredy's Roses - 1

Sam McGredy came to New Zealand from Ireland in the 1970s. He has brought stunning, fruity colours and exquisite lush form to the rose world, from his flouncy hybrid teas to the subtle hand painted roses like Old Master.

 The modern rose garden in the Botanical Gardens, Christchurch.
In The Rose Garden

The Moosey Garden is full of roses. Some special ones have been ordered from reputable nurseries. Then again I've taken pity on yellow-leafed specimens on the sale table, bought pots from markets, and bare-rooted lovelies from the local supermarket.

New Attitude to Hybrid Teas!

The only rose photographs I usually take are of my home grown collection. So my decision to visit the local Botanic Rose Gardens to take photographs of Sam McGredy's roses caused some excitement - the resulting images could definitely benefit the Moosey rose pages! I might even soften my attitude to hybrid teas (I don't grow very many).

 Sexy Rexy Rose
Sexy Rexy Rose

Sam McGredy is a rose breeder, born in Northern Ireland, who settled in New Zealand. In fact he is the fourth Sam! Father and grandfathers have also been in the rose breeding business. I first heard of him when I bought the rose Sexy Rexy - what an unsubtle name! But what a beautiful rose - I've never met another pink rose with such a subtle colour.

 One of Sam McGredys hand painted roses.
Old Master

Three Hundred Flowers!

I've read that there can be as many as 300 flowers on a single plant - Rexy might be talking himself up a bit too much there! And I can't imagine what the sober British rose breeders thought of this naughty name - Sexy Rexy was introduced in the year 1985.

Hand Painted Roses

Then I bought one of Sam McGredy's famous hand painted roses (Old Master) in a sale of standard roses at a local cemetery. Apparently the bed of Old Masters were no longer considered appropriate - something to do with the lack of vigour? Oops.

Living in New Zealand

As soon as I discovered that Sam McGredy was living in New Zealand his popularity was assured. He was instantly forgiven for calling that other rose such a silly name!

 A lovely rose which I would like to grow.
Liverpool Echo

My photography mission started as a request from a writer - she was preparing a book on famous Northern Ireland people, and needed a rose photograph for her page on Sam McGredy.

 Aotearoa is the Maori name for New Zealand.
Rose Label

Off to the Rose Gardens

It was such a great excuse to zoom off to Botanical Rose Gardens and do some serious camera clicking. I might even see some McGredy roses that I liked - I could start writing my next new roses list!

Or - and this quite appealed to me - I could start my own proper collection of his roses. Of course, I'd need to dig a new rose garden for them all...

But There's More...

But enough of all that! I ended up taking far too many photographs to fit on one page. So read on - the story of my wonderful Sam McGredy Rose Experience is to be continued...