Rosa ‘Geoffrey Smith’ tribute to great Yorkshire gardener

28 August 2012

A new rose dedicated to one of Britain’s best-loved gardeners is to be officially launched at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show, 14 – 16 September 2012.

The climbing rose has been named after horticultural broadcaster and author Geoffrey Smith, who was a presenter for BBC Gardeners’ World and a panellist on Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time for nearly 20 years.

Former Superintendent at Harlow Carr Gardens, near Harrogate, Geoffrey made a number of TV gardening series and was also a prolific writer of books, articles and regular gardening columns. He died in 2009.

Rosa ‘Geoffrey Smith’ is being launched at the Harrogate Autumn Flower Show by the North Yorkshire nursery RV Roger Ltd. It is a sport1 of Compassion, flowering May to October with highly fragrant, creamy yellow blooms.


Ian Roger, Managing Director of RV Roger Ltd, Pickering, said:

This is going to be a very special rose because it has a fantastic fragrance and repeat flowers all summer. It was discovered by Keith Foster and, when we discussed a suitable name, our immediate thought was Geoffrey Smith and the huge contribution he made to horticulture.


Geoffrey’s daughter, Caroline Smith, said:

When we were approached for permission to have a rose named after Dad we were delighted, particularly since it is a climbing variety. Unlike the more formal floribunda or Hybrid T, a climbing rose goes its own way and that’s just the way he was throughout his life.


Show Director Martin Fish added:

Geoffrey Smith was one of our most prominent and popular horticulturists. His love of gardening was possibly only rivalled by his love of Yorkshire and it is tremendous to be able to launch his rose here at the Harrogate Flower Show.


Staged at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate Autumn Flower Show is the UK’s premier autumn gardening festival. The event offers thousands of gardeners the chance to celebrate the harvest, as well as looking forward to the new growing season with inspiration, plants and products to suit every space and every pocket.

The 2012 show will see the return of colossal cabbages, massive marrows and terrific tomatoes in the giant vegetable competition, plus new bids to break the record for the world’s heaviest onion.

Beautiful show garden borders will bring ideas from the designer to the doorstep, and an absolutely staggering array of over 5,000 fabulous autumn flowers awaits visitors to Britain’s biggest exhibition of specialist gardening groups. The 2012 show borders are sponsored by Abbotts Green Luxury Lodge Living and Prestige Park & Leisure Homes.

TV celebrity Rosemary Shrager will lead the line up in the Cookery Theatre on Friday 14 September and chefs from across the region will share a daily menu of mouth-watering ideas for turning home grown produce into delicious meals.

Expert teams from Kitchen Garden Live, the Garden Roadshow and the Garden Advice Bureau will be on hand to provide advice and entertainment with talks, demonstrations and one-to-one discussions on growing everything from herbs to hostas, as well as answering all the tricky gardening conundrums cropping up this year.

Tickets: Friday/Saturday £15; Sunday £14. Opening times: 9.30am – 5.30pm. Under 16s are FREE. Car parking is FREE. Book before noon on Tuesday 4 September 2012 for a £2.50 discount. Ticket hotline 01423 546157 or visit


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