Here’s a detailed look at our 20 most stocked rose breeders we grow here in sunny Norfolk. We hope this will be beneficial in discovering a little more history behind the flowers we all love. We have created individual breeders pages, click through to see all the varieties we grow and supply of each. Breeders are also selectable in the Filter By options on every product listing page.
Originating from the town of Sparrieshoop, Germany. Wilhelm Kordes and ‘Sohnes’ has become world leaders in producing naturally disease resistant and healthy roses. Meticulously graded for quality colourful, health, vase life and most importantly fragrance. Over the years they have brought superb award winning Ground Cover Roses in their ‘County Series’ and Rose of the Year ‘Joie de Vivre’. Trevor White Roses is proud to be a leading supplier of Kordes Roses.
Winning several awards every year for developing quality and hardy roses, Poulsen Roser is currently a top global breeder. They are also purveyor to The Royal Danish Court. Their RENAISSANCE® collection mixes old fashioned styled blooms and fragrance, with modern health and vigour.
A famous breeder of Hybrid Perpetuals and one of the first powerhouses of creating repeat flowering and hardy varieties. Originally a gardener, Laffay’s hybridising became his true passion, we have a many of his fine creations still left today.
A veteran of Napoleon’s army, Jean-Pierre Vibert turned to hybridising roses in the early nineteenth century. One of the founders of the now National Horticultural Society of France, he was truly passionate about all plants, therefore his introductions span across many groups of roses including china’s, climbers and teas. One of his most famous introductions is Aimee Vibert, a white climber, named after his wife.
An Anglian clergyman come rosarian. Pemberton founded his nursery in Romford, where he eventually was growing and selling upto 40,000 roses annually. Remembered most for creating the class Hybrid Musks. These have huge sprays of blooms thought to be descended from the repeat flowering rambler ‘Trier’. Today there is a Rose Garden in his memory, which is also attempting to find over 50 missing Pembertons.
Hugely commercially successful Delbard of France is a world pioneer in Apple, Rose and later Dahlia breeding. George Delbard introduced some superb varieties most noteworthy are his ‘Painters’ collections. These are named after famous painters, due to the fact their stripes look as if they are by an artist’s brush. Two fine striped examples are Henri Matisse and Rose des Cisterciens, both strikingly beautiful.
William Paul was a keen rosarian, author of many horticultural books and articles, as well as lectures, lead him to be a great contributor to the studies of plants. He had keen interest in the exhibitions of mass blooms, which were a sensational event in his Victorian England. After his death, his son continued his business until it eventually was dissolved in 1924.
David Austin Snr began rose growing as a hobby in the 1940s, although his hugely successful business came fully into fruition in the 1970s after the success of his “old world style” hybrids. Thus his cleverly named ‘English Roses’ were created and have been loved the world over. Many are named after famous English historical authors & characters, gardeners and locations.
The Pernets are three generations of rose nurserymen from France. The first Claude Pernet begun rose growing in 1845, he is most known for opening world’s first exhibition on roses in Lyon. His son Jean-Claude and grandson Joseph went on to hybridise some important varieties still known internationally. Their experiments with Rosa foetida, produced some of the first ever yellow Hybrid Teas. After his rose-breeding apprenticeship at Ducher Nursery, Joseph went onto marry the owner’s daughter Marie Ducher and the Pernet-Ducher brand was formed, she bred the infamous Cecile Brunner which he went onto introduce in 1881. Roseraie Ducher still exists to this day.
From its origins in Yorkshire to its current site in Hitchin, Hertfordshire. Harkness Roses are continuing to produce healthy new varieties. A very established rose breeder who have introduced a wide range of varied cultivars. Since the 1960s Jack Harkness has published some historical books on roses, and has made some remarkable advances in roses breeding such as the delightful purple Polyantha ‘Yesterday’.
Robert was the gardener inheriter of Jean-Pierre Vibert nurseries. He began introducing varieties from 1851. Later he joined with Moreau and began under the name of Moreau-Robert. Based in Angers, France, they created many Bourbons and Hybrids for 30 years.
Based in North German town of Uetersen, Mathias Tantau and his son Jnr were most famous for introducing many hybrid tea roses around the mid to late 20th Century. Every variety is created to look like perfection. Today their NOSTALGIC® collection indulges us with impressive full-bodied old fashioned styled roses.
The Barbiers nursery was run by Rene and partners in Orleans, France in the early 20th century. They introduced many spectacular wichuriana ramblers. These were often crossed with Tea roses to create bigger blooms. Only a few hardy varieties remain on the market today, with the rarer others displayed in specialist collections such as L’Hay-les-Roses and Sangerhausen.
One of the most exciting rose breeders of Britain today Chris Warner from his small nursery in Newport, Shropshire has gone on to make it big in the rose world. His Persica-Hybrids have caught the imagination of many gardeners, bringing us the central coloured blotch to roses after many years of dedication. He has also impressively produced two rose of the year varieties in less than 10 years.
The Dickson family are the oldest rose breeders in the the UK, spanning six generations. Based near Belfast, their spark in roses began with the gold rush of Hybrid Tea roses in the 19th Century, a fine example we still grow today is ‘Tom Wood’. Long-petalled and elegant are their main signature. Their later introductions since the 1950’s have been mostly bright coloured roses of all types.
Sam McGredy and four generations of rose breeders began their story in Portadown, Northern Ireland and has recently ended in New Zealand. Their most famous introductions were repeat flowering climbing roses. All elegant and unique. Later under Sam Mcgredy IV management, their arrival on a new continent saw them delve into brightly coloured ‘hand-painted’ varieties. These are still very popular today, especially in the U.S.
The Wiltshire born pioneer of Hybrid Teas. Bennett originally began his rose breeding venture as a hobby, but with great interest in the science. His observations from his work with livestock and food crops, made him seek a more controlled approach to hybridization. Feeling disillusioned after his trip to French Rose breeders, he took it upon himself to choosing rose parents with care. His first experiments began with Hybrid Perpetuals and Tea roses. Sensational success shortly followed and The Societe Lyonnaise d’Horticulture aptly named his pedigrees ‘Hybrid Teas’.
Cants had a long relationship with roses roses since 1850s, initially becoming world class rose exhibitors. In the 20th century rival firms, but later mergers, Frank and Ben Cants, introduced the majority of their colourful roses. Sadly their company closed in 2023 after over 250 years of business.
The most influential rosarian in Germany. A wealthy and educated business man, Lambert made a success through his wide and rigorous breeding programme, ensuring his selections were void of mildew and rust. His champion repeat flowering rambler ‘Trier’, named after his hometown, has been used to develop a British group of roses known as the Hybrid Musks and then later his own ‘Lambertianas’. These are well regarded for their deliciously strong scent.
The Bentalls were the nurserymen of the great breeder Rev Joseph Pemberton. After Pemberton’s death, they continued introducing Hybrid Musks. Their legacy can be summed up in the wonderful apricot cultivar ‘Buff Beauty’.