ABOUT US

We are UK rose growers and breeders, and specialise in creating new varieties of roses, with a small quantity of bare root roses for sale in the autumn. We have agents in many countries all over the world, so if you would like to buy one of our roses, please contact your local rose grower. Creating a rose is a very time consuming occupation. It takes several years before knowing if you have created a rose good enough or better than something already in commerce, see The Breeding Process page for more information. 

  All roses for sale are supplied bare root from mid October to late February.  

You too can name a rose in memory of a loved one, or for a new born baby; a birthday gift or wedding anniversary; or why not, name your own rose. Images of roses available can be viewed on the Rose Naming Opportunities page. Prices reflect the work involved. There are a range of colours available at the moment: pink roses, yellow roses, orange roses; floribunda roses, shrub roses, patio ground cover roses; but be assured, the rose you choose was tested for years in our fields, and the rose will be unique to you.

HISTORY

The company was founded in 1836 by Alexander I who came across from Perth, Scotland and set up business in Newtownards, Co. Down. His son, George I, with the assistance of his two eldest sons, Alexander II and George II, (there were eight sons and four daughters in the family) became fascinated with roses and started breeding around 1879. (This makes us the world's oldest rose breeding family, with Colin being the sixth generation to carry on the tradition.) 

 

In 1886 George sent his son Alexander to London to exhibit three varieties of their raising at the National Rose Society Show. They were a red Hybrid Perpetual, "Earl of Dufferin", named for the Viceroy of India, a second red Hybrid Perpetual, "Lady Helen Stewart" and a pink Tea rose, "Ethel Brownlow". In 1885 Queen Victoria granted the company its first Royal Warrant, a distinction that continued unbroken until the end of the reign of King George VI.Many more famous roses were to follow, including: "Mrs. W. J. Grant" in 1892, "Hugh Dickson" in 1904 and "Shot Silk" in 1924.

 

Patrick Dickson started his successful career in 1957, and introduced many successful varieties such as "Sea Pearl" in 1964, following soon after with "Grandpa Dickson" in 1966, "Red Devil" in 1967 and "Redgold" also in 1967. This won an "All America" Award in 1969. Pat died in September 2012 and one of the true rose greats was lost.

 

Colin Dickson started in the breeding house in 1977 and he is still in charge. Since 2016, the Dickson Roses Ltd. company disolved, and Colin went self-employed. In recent years we have won eight Roses of the Year (seven of our own raising): 1983 - Beautiful Britain (Dicfire), 1991 - Melody Maker (Dicqueen), 1986 - Gentle Touch (Diclulu), 1993 -Dawn Chorus (Dicquasar), 1987 - Sweet Magic (Dicmagic), 1996 - Magic Carpet (Jaclover), 1990 - Harvest Fayre (Dicnorth), 2000 - Irish Eyes (Dicwitness), 2018 - Lovestruck (Dicommatac), 2022 - It's a Wonderful Life (Dictwix). 

In 2018 Colin stopped breeding, but he is still doing a few crosses for fun. 

 

See below an old interview with Patrick & Colin Dickson.

George I Dickson founder
George I Dickson founder

First Dickson to breed roses

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Staff photo from 1931
Staff photo from 1931

Dicksons of Hawlmark staff photo from 1931

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Staff photo from 1957
Staff photo from 1957

Dicksons of Hawlmark staff photo from 1957

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Grandpa Dickson (Alex III)
Grandpa Dickson (Alex III)

Photo of Alex III Dickson for whom the Grandpa Dickson rose was named for.

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Nursery Site until 1969
Nursery Site until 1969

Dickson of Hawlmark premises on Circular Road, Newtownards

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The present nursery site
The present nursery site

Dickson Nurseries Ltd present premises during building in 1970

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Nursery Aerial View
Nursery Aerial View

Present site aerial view.

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Patrick Dickson (1926 - 2012)
Patrick Dickson (1926 - 2012)

Patrick Dickson was the fourth generation to breed Dickson roses.

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Pat and Colin
Pat and Colin

Pat and Colin evaluating in the rose field...and Sammy

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