Any Canadians Willing to Give Rose-Growing Advice?

kinglemuelswife(3)May 11, 2014

So, here's the background. I was on these forums a few years ago when I lived in Southern Ontario. I enjoyed all the DA roses I could wish for, and then some! I've since moved to a more northerly place, my climate zone has been cut in half, and I'm feeling a little sad about my rose-growing options.

On the up-side, my new yard is a blank slate. Today, on a whim, I picked up a bagged Chrysler Imperial. It is touted as "winter-proof" but I'm skeptical. Any advice? And any suggestions for roses that will do well in Alberta? I already have 5 Hansa roses given to me, so I think that's enough of that variety.

I must admit I am feeling a little whiney about my options. It's hard to adjust to Hansa after growing teas and DAs. Just saying. So any encouragement would be great. Thanks!

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I'm all the way down here in zone 7 so the selections I could come up with most likely won't hack it up there..... Sooo, why don't you contact the rose nurseries and ask them if they have roses of the type you would enjoy growing. No sense in them lying since you'd just be returning them. Just keep working the list down until you get some you like. Of course that is after a ton of folks here will give you a list a mile long.....

My g-g grandfather was born in Canada so I'm part Canadian... lol

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 10:02PM
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Well, for cold-hardy roses there is always the Explorer and Parkland series, but those tend to be Rugosa hybrids (like your Hansa) and so won't really be similar to teas and DAs. There is actually a new rose developed in Canada that became widely commercially available this year: Campfire.

Have you considered growing roses in pots? Then you could wrap them up and put them in a garage or other cold, sheltered place for winter.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:03AM
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Where in Alberta? Chinook belt (southern Alberta) is very different from Edmonton area. You might want to repost this on the Far North forum too. I'm not a rose grower so take my advice with a grain of salt, but one thing that seems to make a difference in Chinook-prone regions is heavy mulch and a northern or eastern exposure so you don't get early budding that then gets zapped by the return of cold weather.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 1:17AM
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Hi. I understand why you feel whiney about your choices. I relocated from Lower Mainland B.C. in fall 2011, to windy, salty, moist Nova Scotia.. and my DA roses do not like it here.. I had to try to readjust my sights, and its been hard. I don't like the Parkland and Explorer roses much because I can't forgive their lack of scent, and generally their blossom shapes... but I am trying out two Albas ( and accepting their once-blooming cycle, I hope) and also now using more rugosas. Not sure if I'm going to stay in love with roses here, but I encourage you to keep on fighting and learning, and listening, you may be surprised at what new direction this takes you. Good luck !

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 6:35AM
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Not quite as cold as where you're at, but since we just went through the nastiest winter in a while, I can share what made it through without a hitch.

Henri Martin - 4b
Alexander MacKenzie (Canadian) - 3b
Henry Kelsey (Canadian) - 2b
Blanche de Belgique - 3b
Duchesse de Montebello - 4b (Didn't prune a thing on this and it took a lot of wind this winter)
Great Maiden's Blush - 3b
Ville de Bruxelles - 4b
Rook - 4a
Morden Snowbeauty (Canadian) - 2b (Love, love, LOVE! First rose to leaf out for me this spring. Seeing it helped me retain my sanity when all I wanted to see was a little proof that the roses were going to bounce back.)

This year I learned the importance of snow cover. Do you get snow consistently and does it stick in decent quantities? We had tons of snow and it probably was the main reason my 'not quite as hardy' plants made it through with as much cane as they did. I ended up pruning along right where the snow covered to.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:47AM
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Thanks to everyone for the responses and suggestions! I really appreciate it.

Toolbelt: part Canadian is still good. :) I have asked at a few nurseries and everyone seems a little "meh" on the rose options here. One high-end, quite well-known nursery basically told me to choose from the Explorer series and that was all they could offer me. They only had about 3 selections and I left feeling a little blue. But I'll keep checking.

ptwonline: I'll check into Campfire; thanks for suggesting it. I hadn't thought of growing in pots. Maybe once my deck is done...can you do DAs in pots in this zone?

Slimy_Okra: I'm in the Edmonton area so no chinooks for me. I'll make sure to mulch like mad; I learned the value of mulch in my last garden, so I'm sold on that. But I didn't think much about exposure except for "full sun", so I appreciate the wisdom about the early budding. I wouldn't have thought of it myself.

blackgavotte: Wow. Two of the most beautiful places in Canada, and you've lived in both! Though I can't imagine going from a garden in B.C. to one on the coast. My hat's off to you for soldiering through. Zaphod42 gave me some roses to try, and Campfire was suggested, so I'll keep trying. I just can't seem to get past the form and fullness of the DAs and I think now that what I am really asking is if anyone makes a rose like them that survives in my climate. Of course the answer is "no", but I keep asking as if someone will someday say "yes". "Hansa" has a lovely colour though, so that's a plus.

Zaphod42: many thanks for that list! I've looked over it and I am going to give the three Canadians and Great Maiden's Blush a try. I had Henry Kelsey before, I think. Light pink? And Snowbeauty is a favorite out here if I'm not mistaken. But it only blooms once, right? That's one of my hold-backs; I'll just have to plant colour around it. We get tons of snow cover. Too much. :) But you're right, it's good protection. And since we have what appears to be an entire village of hares around here, perhaps the snow cover will keep them from eating the roses when food is scarce in winter.

Thanks again everyone! Lots of interesting user names too. ;)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 2:13PM
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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Edmondton has a fairly active rose community. They just hide under the general umbrella of 'garden club'. Bugnet and Erskine were a couple of breeders from that general part of the world, and I know I'm forgetting a bunch more.

While he hasn't been here for a while, you can do a gardenweb search for posts by Riku. He used to be a very active poster, and had some interesting ideas about what worked and what didn't work up there. For one thing, most once-bloomers weren't hardy enough to bloom, so he preferred repeaters that could limp along.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:04PM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

I can't offer any advice, but here is an old thread that might be helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: July Roses 2007

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:58PM
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plantloverkat zone 9a north Houston(zone 9a)

This one is a more recent post from earlier this year.

Here is a link that might be useful: Starting a garden in zone 3...

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 4:00PM
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canadian_rose(zone 3a)

I don't think that Chrysler Imperial will do well for you. I lived in Edmonton for most of my life, and grew roses there for about 4 years, before we moved to Calgary.

Chrysler Imperial is short and not good with winters. My thought is that it's not going to make it. Here in Calgary, I couldn't give mine away - no one wanted it.

In Edmonton, I thought Alexander MacKenzie to be a great rose. Looks like a hybrid tea. I loved Blanc Double de Coubert and Morden Blush. I still grow John Davis here in Calgary. I love this rose.

Here in Calgary, a friend of mine grows whatever type of rose she wants (hybrid teas, OGRs, etc.) and she finds they live by doing this method.
- take bags of leaves from drop off locations in the city
- pack them around and over the roses (we gather bags for weeks and weeks - she covers her whole yard)
- take Styrofoam panels (hers are about 3 inches thick) and cover the bagged roses. Then she puts black cloth/cut open garbage bags, etc. overtop everything (weighted down) to make it look more presentable to the neighbors.
This method works excellently for her.

My method is to use big Costco pots and take them in the garage (I have 50 hybrid teas) for winter. You can do a search for my methods on this forum.

These methods allow us to have any rose we want. So it's not hopeless!! :)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 6:56PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Hi, you can check Cornhill nusery, they have a lot of hardy roses. They are a bit pricey, but they seem to be worth while.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cornhill nursery

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:46PM
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Thanks again to everyone. I am starting to feel like it's possible to enjoy roses again. :)

gallica: Thanks for mentioning about the garden clubs; it jarred my memory and now I recall there being a rose sale put on by a nearby garden club a while back. I didn't give it much thought because the nurseries had been so discouraging, and the prices at the garden club sale were $30 and up. I guess I thought the garden club was selling the nursery roses for ridiculous prices. Now that I think about it more, it must have been a real rose sale and perhaps I'll be smart enough to cash in this time. And I do remember riku now that you mention him. He was in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, I think. I'll look up his posts.

plantloverkat: I checked on that thread and found a lot of roses to look into. Thanks!

canadian_rose: I appreciate the heads-up on Chrysler Imperial, as that's what started this whole thing. :) It's good to know it won't be a great grower because she's touted as a "climber" and I was going to arrange a small garden around her climbing. Now I won't. That saved me a lot of hassle. I had a good laugh picturing myself telling my husband about why I want him to drive me around in fall and collect other peoples' bags of leaves. :) But I'm intrigued to be honest; and I just might be crazy enough to try that method if it will allow me to grow roses. I'll take a look at your methods (anywhere specific I should look?) as I am also very interested in growing roses in pots. I've heard others say it (in this thread, too) and I have a few questions such as, do you water them? But I am going to stick Chrysler Imperial in a pot for now anyway.

true-blue: I looked up Cornhill...thank you! I was so used to going to Hortico (I know there are divided opinions, but I always bought there and had good success) and picking up whatever rose my heart desired. Cornhill might just be my link to trying different roses that aren't stocked here. I really didn't know you could grow that many kinds in this climate. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 12:31PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Most welcome. If you go to the far north gardening you might find people who are ready to trade hybrid spinosissima roses suckers.Prairie peace is one such rose.

Here is a link that might be useful: Prairie peace

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 3:21PM
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