In January 1961, George Knight died after a short illness, leaving behind a fine reputation as a rosarian.
At the age of 18 years he started his own nursery at Parramatta Road, Homebush, N.S.W., where the house and part of the original nursery still remain as a reminder of the many years he grew and showed roses with such outstanding success.
He first imported roses in 1901, mainly from Northern Ireland, and these were second year plants established in pots on Manetti stock. These were packed in very fine wooden cases, covered in oiled or tarred paper, and after a long sea voyage, would arrive here in full leaf and shoots. Consequently, budding eyes would be few, but any available would be taken and budded, and the plant carefully tended. As these usually arrived during the first week in October, there would be plenty of bud wood available by Christmas time. In those days they would be budded on to mainly Noisette or Maiden’s Blush understock and plants were then sold as yearling stock.
During his long association with the rose world, he not only witnessed but took an active part in the many changes and developments until the time of his death.
His friend R.E. Nixon also wrote a personal tribute.
He writes of his work to establish the National Rose Society of NSW, of how he retired from competition in rose shows when he started his nursery, but did continue to judge at rose shows.
"... Your simple, homely ways, your kindly, honest advice and guidance, your straightforward judgement at the rose shows. ..."
We cherish your memory in the George Knight Cup, and so passes a grand man, bequeathing to his family a proud tradition.
The Australian Rose Annual 1962, pp 130-31