Missing Hardy Roses….

In our new century – in town home, I have planted just a few run of the mill home improvement store roses. They were mostly labelled as Knock Out Roses. I had previously posted about these at https://gardenlove.food.blog/2019/07/05/scorched-roses-and-a-gift/

I kind of thought that the rose was a no-fail rose, easier to grow than the others. Now, I don’t spend much time on any one of my plants. I love them all, and am happiest when they grow, I water them occasionally, deadhead here and there, fertilize and weed. Mostly, I like to treat the roses the same as the other perennials. No special treatment.

Closeup of a Knock Out Rose Bloom in September

I’m most fond of pink. All pinks, but my favorite being a medium pink, bright on the colour scale.

Close-up of a faded John Cabot Rose Bloom

In my previous country garden, I had no space limitations, but dealt with drying cold winds, and considered my yard a Zone 4. To satisfy my love of pink, I planted Explorer Roses. Agriculture Canada had in the 1960s begun a breeding program that produced a variety of roses suitable for Northern Gardens.

This series of roses was available at garden centres, and I purchased many in the 1990s. I haven’t seen them in stores since we’ve moved to our new location, but I know that I can order them from mail order locations for next year.

My favorite was John Cabot. It grows quite tall and could be used as a climber. I initially planted it against my house, but moved it to locations along my property line farm fence. It had no trouble with the move, other than a few branches that initially died. The plant is said to be hardy to -35degrees C with no winterkill. I can attest to that. It needed no covering, and easily survived many cold snowy winters. It was quite a nasty thorny creature however – so not for an area for people to come in close contact with. (None of the boys liked to mow under them)

It was described as reaching 3m or more – but mine hit at least 16 feet – it was visible from quite a distance when in full bloom.

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Explorer Rose John Cabot against farm fence

I also purchased William Baffin roses – another Explorer rose, said to be equally or more hardy with the same height ability.

In my central front garden, I planted Morden Sidewalk roses (Parkland) – also in pink. These were developed in winter-cold southern Manitoba, and so very hardy for my garden. I believe that these were Morden Belle. They were a lovely consistent 3 feet in height and width, and rebloomed well for most of the summer.

Parkland Morden Belle Roses in bloom
Another view of the Morden Belle

Now, while there is still a little bit of bloom left in my garden, but little to maintain, is a good time to start thinking about which roses I might order over the winter to plant next spring. In this case, instead of just buying what I see on sale at the garden centre, I will try to control myself and plan in advance for an investment in my ideal rose garden.

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