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History

Employees at D.T. Poulsens Planteskole

The company 1878-1923

In 1878, Dorus Theus Poulsen started a nursery where he grew and sold asparagus, strawberries and seeds. Later he started to breed radishes, cucumbers, fruit trees, perennials and roses.

D.T. Poulsen's son Dines Poulsen was sent abroad and for several years worked for Peter Lambert, the largest rose breeder of the day, in Trier in Germany. Here he acquired great knowledge about rose breeding and brought his first hybrids back to Denmark. These were the Ellen Poulsen and Rødhætte roses which won gold medals in Hamburg in 1911 and quickly became great popular successes in Denmark and abroad. These very robust varieties became the predecessors for what we now know as Floribunda roses.

Floribunda roses

Dines Poulsen now handed over the breeding work to his brother Svend Poulsen. In 1923, the Else Poulsen and Kirsten Poulsen roses were introduced. They were the first actual Floribunda roses as we know them today - i.e. roses with many flowers and a particular hardiness and resistance to disease. These varieties were marketed as Poulsen Roser.

Then came a string of award-winning Floribunda roses: the red D.T. Poulsen, Karen Poulsen in 1933 and Poulsen's Yellow. The latter was launched in 1938 and was the very first true yellow Floribunda rose that had ever been seen. Danish Gold came out in 1950 and Rumba and Toni Lander in 1958. The world-class Nina Weibull® rose was launched in 1962. It is still one of the most important and most popular Floribunda roses in Northern Europe.

Svend Poulsen's son Niels Dines started work in the company in 1954. The first rose he bred was the fragrant yellow Chinatown (Floribunda/climbing rose). The rose won innumerable international awards for its hardiness. In 1965, the famous Pernille Poulsen and Western Sun roses were introduced.

In 1967, the first Poulsen cut rose came onto the market. This was Nordia. Nordia quickly became popular in the Netherlands and Israel where it was grown in large numbers. Nordia was the forerunner of the Floribunda roses used in the cut flower industry today.

The next breakthrough for Niels Dines came in 1972 with the large-flowered Troika and Gissenfeld roses. These two varieties meant a breakthrough on the European market where the Poulsen Roser name became established. The success continued with the Shalom, Nitouche, Dolly and Bellevue roses which are roses still grown today. These roses contributed to Niels Dines in 1994 receiving the greatest honour for a rose breeder: the Dean Hole Medal which is awarded by The Royal National Rose Society in the United Kingdom.

New owners

In 1971, Pernille Olsen, Niels Dine's oldest daughter, started taking responsibility for the breeding after she had completed her qualification as a horticultural technician. In 1976, she and her husband Mogens N. Olesen took over the company which now undertook both rose breeding and production. Mogens came from a gardening family and was a qualified horticulturalist. He had also studied with the rose breeder Sam McGredy in Northern Ireland.

In 1980 came another breakthrough and innovation for Poulsen Roser when the Pink Bells® Poulbells, Red Bells® Poulred and White Bells® Poulwhite roses were introduced as the first real ground cover roses. When Red Bells® were nominated for the highest award at the international rose tests in The Hague in 1981, this success echoed around the world.

Miniature roses

Again in 1981, the company attracted great international attention when the Teeny Weeny rose was introduced as the first miniature rose which could be propagated from cutting and grown as a standard potted plant. Growing roses as potted plants was a complete innovation and one of Mogens' and Pernille's great ideas from the start of their work in the company. Teeny Weeny was the first PARADE® rose. Today PARADE® roses are well known the world over as the best potted rose on the market. There were many other miniature roses on the market. But they were just garden roses grown in pots. The PARADE® roses were and are super-hardy plants with a rich array of flowers, healthy foliage and harmonious growth. In the following years, even more PARADE® roses were introduced, and the quality and durability of these roses just got better and better. Durability from production, during transport, on the shelf in the retail outlets and at home with the consumer is improved year on year, and the PARADE® roses are now considered some of the most durable roses available. Poulsen Roser now expanded into North America, Japan and other large markets.

More garden roses were introduced alongside the miniature roses. In 1983, the fabulous deep-red Ingrid Bergman® Poulman was launched. This rose is unparalleled and is one of the best roses ever developed. It has won innumerable awards for hardiness, beauty and fragrance. It has even entered the rose Hall of Fame. Millions of this variety have been produced over the years, and it is still one of the biggest sellers in the world.

In 1984, the production of PATIOHIT® roses started. These roses were the 'missing link' between the PARADE® roses and polyantha hybrids. This type of rose quickly became popular all over the world, was produced in 12-13-centimetre pots and produced many flowers and healthy foliage. This culture soon became one of the most important with more than 100,000 plants produced every week in Europe. The plants are used as gifts and for interior decoration, but can also be used outdoors.

In 1996, Poulsen Roser introduced a new product line called the PARTY® collection which consists of miniature roses measuring approx. 10 centimetres. They are bred in 6-centimetre pots and are miniature versions of the PARADE® roses.

TOWNE & COUNTRY®

In 1989, an entirely new collection was introduced. This consisted of very hardy landscape roses measuring up to 80 centimetres in height. The White Cover® Poulcov rose was a sensation as it flowers continuously and is extremely hardy. This is the rose that has won the most international awards in the history of the company and is still produced in great numbers.

PALACE®

In 1993, the PALACE® roses appeared. These are polyantha roses. They measure 40-50 centimetres in height and can be propagated from seedlings. They are grown in 2-3-litre pots and sold fully flowering for planting. The Dronning Margrethe® Poulskov rose was introduced on the occasion of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe's 50th birthday. This rose and the collection as a whole won recognition for their uniqueness: a new culture and breeding form for garden roses.

More successful PALACE® rose varieties were developed - e.g. Topkapi Palace® Poulthe, Crystal Palace® Poulrek and many others which are ideal for modern rose breeding and meet customer requirements for beauty and hardiness.

More new collections

New technology resulted in the development of roses with revolutionary characteristics: they can be propagated using cuttings - not grafting - which was otherwise the norm. These new varieties of garden rose - PALACE®, RENAISSANCE®, TOWNE & COUNTRY®, CASTLE®, COURTYARD®, PARAMOUNT® and most recently NATIONAL PARKS® are very special in terms of propagation, but also growing. Breeding initially takes place with seedlings in greenhouses after which the roses mature outdoors. Countless numbers of these roses have won awards for fragrance, hardiness and beauty.

When Poulsen Roser enjoyed increasing international success, it was decided that the company should focus solely on breeding and the development of new varieties. Production would then be handled by allowing independent growers to produce the flowers on licence.

In 1994, Poulsen Roser started to develop clematis. So far, the following collections have been introduced:

• FLORA™

• GARLAND®

• BOULEVARD®

• REGAL®

• GARDINI™

• VICTORIAN™

• FESTOON™

• PRAIRIE™

• NEW WORLD™

These clematis are spectacular because they are bred for planting both indoors and outdoors. Indoors they can be treated like standard flowering potted plants, something that has never been seen before with this culture.

The colours and shapes of these clematis was something completely new and special when they were introduced, and demand for them has been increasing ever since they came onto the market. Globally, more than 20 million plants are produced every year.

Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court

Poulsen Roser A/S is Purveyor to the Royal Danish Court and has introduced several 'royal' roses over the years. In 2005, the company introduced the CASTLE® rose Kronprinsesse Mary™. It was named by Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary in the same year. In 1998, the RENAISSANCE® rose Princess Alexandra™' Pouldron(N) was named by HRH Princess Alexandra and, in 2010, HRH Princess Marie named the HYBRID TEA POULSEN® rose Prinsesse Marie™ Poulht008(N).

Château Lecusse

In 1994, Pernille and Mogens N. Olesen purchased Château Lecusse in the Gaillac region of France. The chateau produces more than 350,000 bottles of wine annually as well as lavender oil, olive oil and truffles. The wines are sold in Denmark, Canada, China and many other countries and are gaining wide recognition for their taste.

Farm in Africa

In 2005, Pernille and Mogens N. Olesen took over a farm in South Africa which rears wild animals for sale.

Poulsen Roser now and in the future

Poulsen Roser A/S has developed into a highly efficient rose and clematis breeder since the company was taken over by Pernille and Mogens in 1976. The company neither produces nor sells plants as they are produced exclusively on licence. Currently, approx. 30 million roses and 2 million clematis are produced annually all over the world. The plants are sold in more than 60 countries and more than 50% of all roses sold globally are Poulsen Roser.

Poulsen Roser A/S continues the expansion of its rose and clematis empire. Eastern Europe, South America and China are just some of the markets that the company will be moving into in the future.

Poulsen Roser A/S ● Kratbjerg 332 ● DK-3480 Fredensborg ● Denmark ● +45 48 48 30 28 ● post@poulsenroser.dk