Rose breeding is mostly in the hands of just a few companies in Germany, France, and the USA. There are also Eastern European varieties whose genetic resources are of inestimable value, especially for continental climates. The work of Gergely Márk (1923–2012), a rose breeder of such Eastern European varieties, is in severe danger of being lost forever.
The Hungarian Gergely Márk has devoted all his 83 years to roses. In a lifetime of evaluating rose varieties and breeding roses, he has proved to be a man of iron will, stubborn perseverance, extensive expertise, deep historical and literary erudition, and a splendid sense of humor. His oeuvre is a worthy sequel to a Hungarian rose-breeding tradition represented by Mihály M. Horváth, Rudolf Geschwind, and the Mühle brothers.
Our highly esteemed and beloved Friend, Gergely Márk, has passed away in November 2012. His work spanned over fifty years, during which time he brought to life over 800 Hungarian rose varieties.