Loved the world over for their nostalgic beauty, roses have long been celebrated by artists, composers, florists and gardeners. Though many varieties of roses require extra care and attention, there are roses that are hardy enough for the Northern Yukon climate and actually require very little extra attention.
Roses are an excellent choice as an accent flower in gardens or combined with other shrubs as ground covers and hedging. Climbing roses look great on a trellis wall against a house or fence.
Among the most-popular choices for Northern gardens is the hardy “Hansa” rugosa rose.
With an impeccable reputation as viral fighters of the cold, this purple-crimson to violet-red-coloured rose bursts with an intense, savoury clove-like scent.
Hansa roses flower continuously throughout the summer. They grow quickly and thick, with little maintenance. The distinct crinkled-green foliage generally remains healthy throughout the summer months and well past frost.
With their vase-shaped appearance, Hansa roses are a good choice as a specimen plant or for use in perennial gardens.
If you would like to plant a white rose, consider the “Blanc Double de Coubert” rugosa hybrid.
With heights and widths of five feet or more, this fragrant rose bush has beautiful, double-white flowers that spread across arching branches. This variety is generally resistant to disease and will bloom repeatedly from early summer through frost.
The flowering season is followed by large, bright ruby-red rosehips.
If you are planning a hedge, “Jens Munk” rugosa rose is a good choice.
This heavenly scented rose produces attractive pink flowers all summer long, followed by attractive rosehips in the fall.
For an early bloomer, look to the hardy shrub variety, “Therese Bugnet”. With fragrant double-pink flowers and frilly petals, this rose blooms continuously from early summer through to frost.
Among the hardiest of all rose varieties, this shrub rose turns to shades of fall, covering itself with vibrant-orange rosehips.
When planting a new rose bush, use fertile, well-drained hummus composed of one-third top soil, one-third peat moss and one-third blended manure or compost. Prepare a hole that is 35- to 45-centimetres deep – wide enough to evenly spread the existing root system.
The bud union, or graft, should be three to five centimetres below the soil surface.
Roses require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. Areas that have good air circulation will help keep your rose bush free from disease. With the exception of the “Therese Bugnet” variety, roses should be pruned in the spring as leaf buds start to swell.
(Therese Bugnet roses bloom on old wood and, therefore, should be pruned after they finish flowering in the fall.)
Consider planting one of the rugosa series roses in your garden this summer.
These hardy roses will tolerate the adverse Northern climate without flinching. Their ability to survive temperatures to -50 degrees (and keep blooming) makes this rose my first choice in the series of hardy rose bushes.
Shari Morash is a gardening enthusiast and an accredited designer. Contact her at [email protected]