|If I were to tell you of a rose that is as trouble free as can be, wonderfully fragrant, immune to
diseases, has no insects that trouble it, is hardy as nails AND re-blooms; what would you say?
For starters, find out what roses are hardy for our climate and while you're at it
find out how disease resistant they are too. With out a doubt, you'll come to the
rugosa family of roses!
I have to admit, at first I really didn't like their blooms much. They didn't have
enough petals for me. I didn't like to see the middle either. They kinda reminded
me of wild roses. As I became a rose grower I made a promise to myself that I
would try and not be biased by my personal likes and dislikes. ( Oh, I can hear
chuckles as my good old friends read this). So I accumulated many varieties of
roses; old garden roses at first as they were & still are the love of my life, hardy
explorer roses and many rugosa roses. I don't mind saying that it didn't take me
long to come to the conclusion that I rather liked and admired the rugosa roses
first for their fragrance, repeat bloom and really for their tuff constitution! I don't
think there's a hardier, more disease resistant rose on the face of this earth!
Then I was introduced to the "Pavement Series" of rugosa roses - Well that was it,
I was hooked! Here was a group of roses that had all the wonderful attributes of
the rugosa family but only grew not quite three feet tall and wide. They bloomed
almost continously, and came in many colors (except yellow). In a few short years
the Pavement Series have surpassed my wildest dreams in terms of demand. It
didn't take long for the word to get out and of course everyone was growing them.
So to sum this all up in a nutshell I'll list the "creme de la creme" of this wonderful
family of roses for you in order of size. There are many more varieties available at
rose nurseries but these ones I've found to be the best in terms of blooms,
hardiness & vigor.
First and foremost you have your good old rugosas like: Roseraie de L'Hay (deep
carmine red), Hansa(deep purple/red), Blanc Double de Coubert: white (B.D.D.C.
for short), Belle Pointvine(pink), Darts Dash (deep purple red)& Scabrosa( hugh,
single pink). These are all pretty much large shrubs growing around five to six feet
tall and wide. Excellent for hedges and in groups of three for focal points.
Then you have your mid size ones growing four to five feet such as Monte
Blanc(white), Monte Rosa(pink), Monte Casine( deep pink/red) Jens Munk (candy
pink) and Wasagaming(deep pink)Oh how I love this rose!!
Lastly your short er, some nurseries say "groundcover roses" They don't really
cover the ground so much as they just grow low and are wider than taller. These
include: Charles Albanel(mauve/pink), Henry Hudson(white), the pavement series:
, Pieriette Pavement(pink), Scarlet pavement(redish pink), and Pristine
Pavement(white), Purple Pavement(purple/red), Snow pavement(lilac white),
Showy pavement( great pink).
There are a few varieties that are great to grow but are not as hardy as the ones
mentioned. These will have some winter dieback depending on the zone your
living in ( zone 5 or less). If on their own roots you'll not loose these but expect
some winterkill! These varieties are: Linda Cambell ( lovely red), Topaz
Jewell(Yellow Frau Dagmar), Conrad F Myer(pink), Nova Zembla(white), Parfume
de L"Hay(deep carmine), Rugelda(yellow) & the Hunter(red)
Now tell me, are there enough varieties and colors here for the average northern
A size to fit in a rock garden or many for perennial boarders ( pavements are
great for this). Larger ones for hedges. Don't ever try to go through a rugosa
hedge; I'm afraid the hedge would win!
So, do you have an ocean front that is crying for flowers? Are you dying for
something fragrant? Rugosa can take the salt and all the winds Mother Nature
throws at them & great roots to hold soil from eroding banks too.
As time grows shorter and the pace of life quickens, it's nice to know that we can
still have time to grow something of beauty & fragrance that will last year after
year with little effort. You don't have to polish these jewels, just some water in
times of drought and some manure or compost every fall or spring. Not much to
ask in return for so much!
As winter months are upon us take some time to research these roses & find ones
that suit you. Gardening clubs and libraries are a great help. No reference can
top the experience of a gardener that is growing them. So seek them out.
The Canadian Rose Society's "The Canadian Rose Annual" is full of great
information for members on roses that grow in Canadian climates. Their address
is: Canadian Rose society, 10 Fairfax Crescent, Scarborough, Ont. M1L 1Z8
Happy, carefree rose gardening!
Jewels of the Northern
|by Peggy-Anne Pineau