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Rose Week - a treat for all the family

The International Rose Garden at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in Belfast is famous for its annual Rose Week event and International Rose Trials. The flower spectacular, which attracts thousands of visitors to Belfast, runs every July.  It's the perfect opportunity for visitors to experience one of the best rose gardens in the world.

However, more than flowers will be on show with competitions, workshops, demonstrations, music and children’s entertainment making Rose Week a true celebration of Northern Ireland’s rose heritage for all the family to enjoy.

Celebrated Rose Heritage

Northern Ireland has a rich heritage of rose breeding dating back to the late 19th century and is home to the world’s oldest rose breeding family, the Dicksons of Newtownards. Colin Dickson is the sixth generation to carry on the tradition! Famous roses produced by the Dicksons Nursery include ‘Shot Silk’, ‘Sea Pearl’, ‘Grandpa Dickson’ and ‘Elina’, which was added to the World Rose Hall of Fame during the International Rose Convention meeting in Japan in 2006.

Rose breeding continues to be hugely popular today.  With so many new rose varieties every year, it’s no surprise that the rose growing community has taken to naming many of the new roses after famous people or celebrities. For example, George Best has a beautiful pinkish red flower named in his honour with donations from the sale of this rose going to the George Best Foundation. And as you can see from our list below, the ‘Belfast Boy’ is in good company with celebrity roses named after Hollywood superstars Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn, singers Paul McCartney and Dolly Parton!

 For more information on Rose Week go to our events listing. 

Visit our garden section for more information on Northern Ireland’s gardens.

Roses named after famous people, both real and fictional:

• Abraham Lincoln: 4 Red Roses - “President Lincoln” & “Souvenir du President”; hybrid teas, “Mr. Lincoln” & “Honest Abe”; miniture moss roses.
• Amelia Earhart - Creamed blush pink hybrid tea rose.
• Audrey Hepburn - Apple blossom pink hybrid tea rose.
• Barbra Streisand - Rich lavender and mauve hybrid tea rose.
• Betty Boop - Red blend floribunda rose.
• Betty White - Blush pink to cream hybrid tea rose.
• Bing Crosby - Dark orange hybrid tea rose.
• Bob Hope - Medium red hybrid tea rose.
• Cary Grant - Orange blend hybrid tea rose.
• Chaucer - Shell pink with yellow center English rose shrub.
• Cinderella - Almost white with blush pink miniature hybrid tea rose.
• Diana, Princess of Wales - Pink blend hybrid tea rose.
• Dolly Parton - Darl coppery orange/red hybrid tea rose.
• Don Juan - Red large flowered climbing rose.
• Elizabeth Taylor - Deep pink hybrid tea rose.
• General Washington - Bright red hybrid perpetual.
• George Best - dark red miniature rose.
• George Burns - Yellow blend floribunda rose.
• Ginger Rogers - Orange and pink blend hybrid tea rose.
• John F. Kennedy - White blend hybrid tea rose.
• Judy Garland - Yellow to orange and scarlet floribunda rose.
• LeAnn Rimes - Yellow blushed rose hybrid tea rose.
• Leonardo da Vinci - Light pink floribunda rose.
• Marilyn Monroe - Creamy apricot hybrid tea rose.
• Mary, Queen of Scots - White blend hybrid spinosissima rose.
• Michelangelo - Orange blend floribunda rose and medium yellow hybrid tea rose.
• Mozart - Cerise pink with white center modern shrub rose.
• Napoleon (Chapeau de Napoleon) - Light pink old historic rose.
• Othello - Red/cerise blend English shrub rose.
• Paul McCartney - Medium pink hybrid tea rose.
• Prince William of Wales (Royal William) - Dark red hybrid tea rose.
• Queen Elizabeth - Medium pink grandiflora rose.
• Reba McEntire - Orange red grandiflora rose.
• Robin Hood - Small cherry red hybrid mush shrub rose.
• Ronald Reagan - Red with white reverse hybrid tea rose.
• Rosie O’Donnell - Red blend hybrid tea rose.
• Sir Lancelot - Amber, pink, and peach blend floribunda rose.
• Snow White - White blend hybrid tea rose and white blend polyantha rose.
• St. Patrick - Medium yellow blend hybrid tea rose.
• William Shakespeare - Deep scarlet modern shrub rose.

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European Regional Development Fund