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Choosing the Right Shrub Rose

With the 2007 planting season soon to start, now is the time to start planning out any new shrub beds/borders to be installed this year.  Or perhaps you have a too well established shrub bed that is in need of renovation.  What better plants to use than shrub roses?  As long as the space has good sunlight (3/4 of the day or more) then roses can successfully be grown and will provide some awesome color.

With so many shrub roses on the market it can be confusing which selections to use.  What choice you make will depend on flower color desired, height considerations for your space & disease/hardiness issues for the area of the United Stated in which you reside.
Here at Johnson’s Nursery we offer shrub roses that are hardy for our climatic conditions and have good disease resistance.  Hardiness is a relative term as some roses are fully hardy for our winters, yet others can be fully root hardy but sometimes suffer winter injury to the tops.  Roses in this latter category are still considered hardy for our climate as the damaged portion can be pruned off in spring and the plant will push new growth from the roots.  By late June they are fully recovered and blooming well.  The key is to be patient and they will come back nicely.

A good example of this would be ‘Chuckles’ rose.  I have Chuckles in my yard as it is one of my favorites.  They are in a foundation planting along the west side of my house.  Most years they have some tip-die back over the winter, but last spring mine were dead to the ground.  After cutting the canes off at ground level, they eventually pushed new growth from the roots.  By mid June they were so beautiful in bloom that I could not resist taking photos.

Here is a listing of roses we have for 2007 to help in your landscape planning:

Climbing Roses        
Henry Kelsey:
This is a red climbing rose developed in Canada. It is completely top hardy and grows about 6’ tall.

John Cabot:
Another red climber developed in Canada.  Grows up to 9’ tall.

John Davis:
Pink climbing rose developed in Canada.  Grows 6’-8’ tall.

Rugosa and Rugosa Hybrids
These roses are fully top hardy in our climate.

Blanc Double De Coubert:
A large plant (6’-7’ tall) with white fragrant flowers. Has good fall foliage color and abundant rose hips.

Belle Poitevine:
Nice medium pink flowers on 4’ tall plants.  Also good rose hip display.

Dwarf Pavement:
A dwarf pink rugosa developed in Germany.  One of several in the Pavement series.  Somewhat drooping form to the flowers.  30” tall.  Good fragrance and heavy rose hip production.

Frau Dagmar Hastrup:
An excellent dwarf (3’) pink rose with single petals.

Topaz Jewel:
Yellow flowers, 3’-4’ tall.
Wildberry Breeze:
Lavender flowers, good rose hips, 3’tall.

Other Roses
Carefree Delight:
Single pink flowers.  Very hardy canes.  Never any winter die back on those in my yard.  Grows 3.5’-4’  tall with a very arching growth habit. Grows much wider than it does tall.  Great where a wide plant is needed.  Heavy bloomer in late June for 2 weeks with light repeat blooming rest of season.

Carefree Wonder:
Double pink flowers, good repeat bloomer.  Grows 4’tall. Occasionally gets some winter die back.

From the Explorer Series of roses developed in Canada.  Red, 4’ tall and extremely floriferous. Totally top hardy in our climate.  See previously posted article for more details.

Vivid pink single petaled flowers borne in profuse clusters.   3’ tall.  See previously posted article for more details.

Flower Carpet Roses:
These are a series.  We carry them in Coral, Pink, Red, White and Yellow.  Extremely low growing (2’) with very glossy foliage.   Great repeat bloomer.  While very beautiful, they are best used in somewhat protected sites (foundation plantings along south or east side of heated buildings).

An extremely disease resistant rose with bright raspberry red flowers.  Great repeat bloomer. This rose can have winter die back.

Blushing Knockout:
From same breeder as Knockout.  Has pink flowers.
My Hero:
A wonderful red rose.  See previous article posted for full details.  Red flowers.

Nearly Wild:
Pink single-petaled flowers.  Extremely floriferous to the extent that sometimes it seems like the plant is entirely covered with flowers so that no leaves are visible.  Excellent repeat bloomer growing 3’-4’ tall. May have occasional winter dieback.

Winnipeg Parks:
From the Parkland Series developed in Canada. Very pointed buds that open to a large pink flower that darkens with age.  3’ tall.

We also have a few rose varieties that are relatively new on the market and are “new” for us this year.  Sunrise Sunset is supposed to get about 3’ tall with pink flowers that have an orange/yellow center.  Yellow Brick Road is listed as a deep yellow shrub rose also growing 3’ tall.  And the last one is Yellow Submarine which has yellow flowers fading to white.  It is reported to have an upright growth habit.  It is always a pleasure to test new varieties and see how they will perform under our conditions.


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