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Pro gets rose nod

Monday, 26th August, 2013

Top rose breeder George Thomson liked Pro Hart’s work so much he named a rose after the late artist. Top rose breeder George Thomson liked Pro Hart’s work so much he named a rose after the late artist.

By Kurtis J Eichler

One of the country’s best rose breeders says he’s created a rose that he’ll name in honour of Pro Hart.

George Thomson and wife Linda were in the city this week to get approval from the Hart family to use the famed artist’s name on a new rose, expected to hit shelves in 2015.

The Willunga man has spent years developing roses suited to Australia’s harsh climate and with the ability to withstand dry conditions.

Mr Thomson said after years of international artists getting recognition in the garden such as Leonardo Da Vinci, it was time for the Australian crop to be given a nod.

Broken Hill artists were the “best in the world” and Mr Hart was the cream of the crop, he said.

“I liked his art,” Mr Thomson said. “It’s very unusual and it’s very good.”

“I’ve seen the race meeting and the cricket matches. I’ve seen things like that. It’s very true to form.”

The type of rose being named in honour of Mr Hart - who died in 2006 - is a shrub rose which is tough and hardy and bred to withstand heat.

He has another rose as well to name, but is undecided on who to select. Painter and art teacher, the late May Harding, is one name under consideration.

Mr and Mrs Thomson pollinate and produce between 200,000 and 500,000 seeds per year but only two might see the market due to the heat and fungal disease.

“It’s a process of elimination,” Mr Thomson said.

Mr Hart’s widow Raylee said the naming was an honour.

“It was a real honour to have someone do that and I told him I think it’s wonderful and I count it as a real honour,” Mrs Hart said.

Of the rose, she said it was picture perfect.

“It’s absolutely beautiful. It’s a fuchsia colour and it’s got a very strong perfume.”

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