How are everyone‘s roses doing this year?


it was a long rough winter for us here, several -30 Celsius days, and a few that cold without snow cover. ot didn’t start warming until end of April. There were plenty of dead canes to trim, but everything has come back from the crown or more.


Unlike past year, some of my hardiest roses such as Thérèse Bugnet even had a few dead canes. Rugelda is just holding on. A surprise is LD Braithwaite, which is doing very well in a protected location. Others doing well in slightly protected areas include Campfire, Oscar Peterson, Morden Blush, Never Alone, and Canadian Shield.


I am particularly impressed by Prairie Joy this year, not as many canes to trim and it’s really bushing out:






First to bloom this week include Wasagaming and Blanc de Double Coubert. Wasagaming was a tiny plant when I got it from Cornhill Nursery a few years ago, it’s now turning into a monster, one of the largest in my lot:







Comments (77)

  • L Clark (zone 4 WY)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Hope for humanity did not die back all the way. About 18" of good cane. Cuthbert Grant died back to the ground, but is coming back. John Cabot did not die back whatsoever. John Davis died back and has not come back yet and I think it's dead. Both my Winnipeg Parks died back to the ground and only one is coming back so far. Morden Blush died back to the ground, but is coming back. Morden Centennial looks like a goner, too. All were new except the Hope for Humanity and I didn't really protect any of them. It was a terrible (with a capital T) year to start a bunch of new roses. Record cold in mid Oct and mid April. Hoping for a better year or I might give up on everything, but Hope for Humanity and John Cabot lol. Oh and I have 'All My Loving' which I heavily protect, it's still alive, though.

  • prairie_northrose (3b north of Calgary AB, Canada)
    Original Author
    last year

    Brandon, Prairie Joy and most of my roses survived, even with the week this winter where temps dipped down to -38C/-36F, but Prairie Joy has more dieback than usual, it’s only alive to the snow line.


    I had some miniature roses which like they won’t make it, I think it was just too long of a dormancy & they don’t have the reserves to bounce back. I have some spinosissima and rugosa crosses which are alive to the tips with zero dieback.


    Most of the newer types (Parkland, Explorer, Canadian Artist, etc.) ones are budding out from the snow line. I don’t remember giving a good water to everything before freeze up, so that may be a factor.

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  • L Clark (zone 4 WY)
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Prairienorthrose - have you grown Ramblin' Red?

  • Brandon C
    last year

    It was a brutal winter. My 6 year old John Cobot is almost dead except some sucker so I dug it out yesterday. Even Persian Yellow has a few dead canes, which never happened before.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Brandon, I've been growing 'Prairie Joy' for decades, occasionally can die right back to the ground, though we generally have decent good snow cover in my central Alberta region and it usually comes through with 12 inches or more of live wood ... disease resistance and repeat is rather good, a rose I wouldn't be without!

    Clark, I had grown 'Ramblin Red' for seven or eight years, it has good quality blooms and pretty good disease resistance, though was not hardy above the snowline and it requires that old wood to produce a good show of blooms. For several years, I had laid the canes to the ground and covered them over with additional snow and was moderately successful with that ... but, later I gave up on the effort, besides I don't miss those thorns!!

  • L Clark (zone 4 WY)
    last year

    Frozebud - What are your favorite roses?

  • Kelly Tregaskis Collova
    last year

    So happy to have found this thread! I have started trying to stick to more appropriate roses for my climate more and more. This year I added some once bloomers I am excited about. I added a mordern ruby, Austrian copper, Marrieane, Persian yellow, and Frühlingsgold. Anyone have any experience with these? I was glad to hear Persian yellow has been reliably hardy!
    Thanks!!

  • wayne
    last year

    Persian Yellow is sold budded onto a root stock that is not the best for marginal growing conditions. Persian Yellow is a black spot magnet and in my area if not treated looses it's leaves before the season is over, so what I have done is planted one on an angle so that the current root stock doesn't die but over a couple of seasons the rose develops on it's own roots. This allows it to sucker and be healthier. SO FAR mine has not become a thug. I spray a dormant sulfur treatment and that helps a lot. Austrian Copper may be similar.

  • davidpeaceriver__2b
    last year

    We had two days below -44C in January, and my Canadian Shield died back to the snowline. It's greening up now, though, so I'm hoping to see blooms this summer.

  • mary_rockland
    last year
    last modified: last year

    testing wow it worked this time. Thanks Frozebud for saying that sometimes your favourite rose dies back to the ground. I actually have a hard time with Hansa. She seems to have a fair dieback most years and this year she's almost back to the ground. Ironic since she's supposed to be zone 1 according to some sites.

  • mary_rockland
    last year

    oops I guess that's zone 2 or 3 not 1

  • Kelly Tregaskis Collova
    last year

    Has anyone had luck growing Alexander McKenzie? I have one that has been barely surviving and another one from Heirloom that didn’t make it through my mild winter. I usually order my roses early May but wait until end of May-June (depending on when spring starts and how harsh the winter was) to see if they come back from the roots. Doesn’t help with the year guarantee...This is supposed to be a Canadian explorer rose, no? Is it not as cold tolerant as advertised or does it do well in certain conditions?

  • wayne
    last year

    Most explorer roses die back to the ground for me, I saw -37 C on my thermometer once this winter and they did reasonably well. John Cabot which is against a South facing brick wall does the best, I trimmed it back to 3' with most of it less then that. It is pushing out new canes vigorously. I have not grown Alexander McKenzie but my sister has and in the location that she had it, it did better than any of my explorers.

  • prairie_northrose (3b north of Calgary AB, Canada)
    Original Author
    last year

    I may be speaking too soon, but it appears many of my rugosas further from the house did not do well at all, so far there appears to be much more dieback compared to past years. I’ll have to wait a bit longer to make the call, usually the stems wake up later than the others.


    L Clark, I’ve never grown Ramblin’ Red, I don’t see it available in stores too often here. Generally most roses like these die back to the snow line for me & I’m a bit wary of the work involved with ramblers.


    Kelly, there are multiple Persian Yellow roses in my neighbourhood, and a large one in the park. I’m curious how they held up to the winter as well. The Alexander McKenzie at the agricultural college near me appears to do well, but it doesn’t appear to be quite as tough/robust as some of the other Explorers. The flower colour is gorgeous though. I’ve seen a house around here with it doing well in a sunny sheltered location against their foundation.

  • Kelly Tregaskis Collova
    last year

    I’m in Minnesota zone 4 bordering 3. I think the states have different zoning than you do in Canada. Almost all my roses die back to the ground or snow line. This year was a mild winter for us so my roses are doing really well. The winter before last was brutal; multiple weeks with temps below -40 C. More school days canceled than ever before in history. Excited to have a good show soon!!

  • L Clark (zone 4 WY)
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I've had John Cabot in the ground for over a year and the bush has attained a good size with many healthy canes, but I've yet to see a blossom. Is John Cabot a stingy bloomer??

  • wayne
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    I am finding that even though the canes come through winter green and alive they do not grow well, the new shoots easily out do the old canes. I fertilize my John Cabot's and other roses a good amount and have had heavy blooms from them, This year we are having a lack of rain, just small amounts 1/4" once in a while, we haven't had over 2" total I am sure. It will start blooming when it gets well rooted.

  • northlandyogi_mi5a
    10 months ago

    I'm glad I found this thread! I live in USDA 4 and we have long snowy winter and short grow season. So many discussions and beautiful pictures were posted by gardeners from warmer climates which were enjoyable but I began to doubt myself. Good to see some roses from northern gardens!

  • Hermes Mallari
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    My hardy unnamed cross of John Cabot & Perfume Melody hybrid tea. Moderate fragrance,disease & shade tolerance. Size of shrub is 5 ft.x 5ft.



    I’ve been growing this for more than 15 yrs. on the shady north side of our house.

  • Hermes Mallari
    5 months ago


    Close-up of its lavender fragrant blooms

  • mary_rockland
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Wow, that's wonderful. I've never crossed roses before, just daylilies. How long did it take for it to be large enough to start to evaluate? Is it better to have the hardy plant as the pollen or pod?

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    5 months ago
    last modified: 5 months ago

    Hermes, indeed that's a beauty, I've never considered to work with 'John Cabot', though had done many crosses with 'John Davis' and gotten several really nice looking offspring ... though, then cercospora had reared its ugly head and some years can defoliate roses from top to bottom, unfortunately 'John Davis' being very susceptible. Though, here's one resulting cross that has held up quite well in the health department and being very winter hardy.



  • Hermes Mallari
    5 months ago

    mary_rockland it took 3 years to attain 5 feet height ’cause I didn’t graft it. I even neglected it as I have more attractive hybrids. It thrived in poor clay soil. Even this year I didn’t even apply a single fertilizer application. But now I realized it’s a good rose. I’m glad I saved it. I used John Cabot’s as the pod or seed bearer& pollen from Melody Perfume. It had a very double light lavender sibling that tends to climb but noticed it’s susceptible to mildew & did not save it.

  • Hermes Mallari
    5 months ago

    FrozeBudd_z3/4

    Wow! Those are Impressive offsprings of John Davis. I had John Davis before but like what you said it always defoliate easily . I’m just so impressed with John Cabot’s disease resistance even on wet season. Doesn’t get black spots at all. But it gets too big. I’m glad that its offspring is a little smaller but still vigorous.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    5 months ago

    Hermes, it's actually rather very challenging to bred a healthy quality rose of bone hardiness and repeat flowering. Here's a beauty I had developed from a cross of 'John Davis' x "Morden Sunrise', the first few years it had preformed excellent, that all came to an end with cercospora making its way to my garden. So, yes, selecting disease resistant breeders is important!



  • Hermes Mallari
    5 months ago

    Froze Budd_3/4 that could have been pretty nice cultivar!

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    5 months ago

    Hermes, I hadn't meant to steal the thunder from your rose, it really does look fantastic! Maybe, next summer, I'll dabble a bit of 'John Cabot' pollen here and there as well! I did very little rose breeding this past summer, though need to step things up for 2021, it's just too much fun having one's own rose seedlings come into bloom !!

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    5 months ago

    Hermes, I hadn't meant to steal the thunder from your rose, it really does look fantastic! Maybe, next summer, I'll dabble a bit of 'John Cabot' pollen here and there as well! I did very little rose breeding this past summer, though need to step things up for 2021, it's just too much fun having one's own rose seedlings come into bloom !!

  • Hermes Mallari
    5 months ago

    Your fine. I encourage you to continue & enjoy hybridizing roses & produce the ideal roses you’ve been looking for. Good luck.

  • ostrich
    21 days ago

    So glad that I found this amazing thread!!!


    I finally got my landscaping down for my new home last year, and now I am starting to plant this year! I am looking for the right rose to do a small hedge in one area, and so this is fantastic.


    I was thinking about Winnipeg Parks before, then Emily Carr, but now having seen these photos, I am considering Prairie Joy!!! Or Canada Shields??? What would be the best rose for a hedge that continuously flower? Thanks!

  • mary_rockland
    21 days ago

    Just a little warning. The Japanese Beetle loves roses, blooms and leaves. Although 4 years ago I had no problem I have since ripped some out that I could bare to lose. It may not be an issue in your area, but for me it is now on every piece of wild virginia creeper, wild grape vine, raspberry, especially cultivated pussy willow, rose and hibiscus, and last year also munched on my garden beans. So much as I adore roses, in this new condition I personally wouldn't put in a rose hedge where I live. They are the most persistant bug. You can pick them off several times a day every day and still they overwinter and the problem is back again the next year starting July 1st or so for at least 2 months. .So for me the best roses are those that bloom some prior to July 1st, and not those that bloom all summer long. If you don't have them consider yourself blessed By the way I am only in zone 4B, so it's not because I have a warm climate.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    'Campfire' is pretty well the best and longest flowering of all, kinda has a splaying growth habit though. I don't recall the variety name, but I have one of the 'Pavement' rugosas and it certainly would make a for a darn fine bit of hedging, here it's shown with some complementary company.

    Just for fun, another selection of mine with pink hybrid tea shaped blooms, grows a bit tall and is healthy and disease resistant.

    'Emily Carr' is quite striking with intensely colored cup shaped blooms, vigorous and upright with large foliage, 'Canadian Shield' I've yet to be impressed with.

  • ostrich
    20 days ago

    Thank you so much, FrozeBudd! Happy Victoria Day weekend to all of you!


    The pink roses above are really striking! What is the name please?


    Do you have any previous photos of Emily Carr in your yard please? Also, what aspects of Canadian Shield are you not impressed with please? Would love to learn from you as I have not seen one in anyone's yard around here yet!


    I am not a big fan of the rugosa roses as they have a bit of a "wild" look which is not what I would like in my yard.... but they surely smell nice!


    How do you like Prairie Joy roses?


    Thanks again!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    I have been on a mission to grow roses that are disease resistant for about 10 years. I've tried many over the years. I'm slow because I have so little full sun, so I only grow about 6 roses maximum at one time. My all time favorite for health is 'Julia Child' It is very healthy and productive has repeat bloom and fragrance, but I prefer a larger flower, so I keep adding more trials of disease resistant roses that repeat bloom and are fragrant.

    I have Prairie Sunrise and I love it and this year it is really looking healthy and filling out, despite the fact it doesn't get a full day of sun. I added compost and alfalfa meal in the spring and it really responds well to that. I have big fat buds on it right now and in a week, I should see the first bloom of the season. LOVE this rose.

    I also added 'Savannah' and 'Beverly' 3 years ago and they look good this year too. Waiting for a bloom to take a photo.

  • prairie_northrose (3b north of Calgary AB, Canada)
    Original Author
    19 days ago

    Ostrich, Winnipeg Parks does about three distinct flushes for me. A bit prone to blackspot later in the season. I have a hedge of seven plants, love the flashy colour, large bloom form, and light fragrance.


    Emily Carr is not a favourite for me - too few scentless blooms. But perhaps it needs more fertilizer for me to get more blooms going.


    Love the bush form and foliage on Prairie Joy. It’s the best bush form I’ve ever seen so far. Really tight leaves. It is continuous flowering.


    Love Campfire as well, but as mentioned it tends to sprawl lower due to thinner stems.


    Canadian Shield is a striking bright red, but bush form is lacking.


    If I could make any hedge, it would be of the rugosa Snow Pavement. Fragrant, continuous blooming & tight bush form. I find trimming dead canes a lot of work, usually rugosas don’t need as much trimming. But yes I agree, they can look more wild that other types.

  • prairie_northrose (3b north of Calgary AB, Canada)
    Original Author
    19 days ago

    Prairiemoon, that is amazing you have Prairie Sunrise, I haven’t been able to find it here. I’ve read good things about the Buck roses.


    I have to try Julia Child one day, it sounds like a fantastic rose & a favourite for many!

  • mary_rockland
    19 days ago

    Snow pavement really does bloom a lot and is pleasantly fragrant. It's sort of like an apple blossom colouring extreme soft pink. I removed mine because it was a real magnet for Japanese Beetles, more than the Morden Centennial and Therese Bugnet that were close to it in the same bed. Maybe the fragrance does it? The form of the flowers of snow pavement is very lose, casual, and some days for me downright messy. But, had I not had an issue with the Japanese Beetles liking it specifically so much I'd have kept it.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    19 days ago
    last modified: 19 days ago

    Prairie Northrose - I bought that Prairie Sunrise from Pickering in Canada a couple of years before they went out of business. They were my favorite nursery to buy roses, they had a great reputation for offering very healthy roses and that worked out that way for those I bought from them.

    I'm sure someone on this forum has suggested this site before when you are trying to find a source for a rose....

    HelpMeFind

  • ostrich
    19 days ago

    prairie_northrose, thank you so much - really great information that I cannot find anywhere else!!! THANK YOU!


    I saw some Winnipeg Parks yesterday and could not stand it any longer so I just bought all 3 of them!!! Now I need to plant them.... how tall and wide do yours get please? I read that it could get anywhere between 2 - 3 ft - I hope that it is closer to 3!


    I would love to get my hands on some Prairie Joy roses but they don't have them anywhere that I looked this long weekend, and the Winnipeg Parks were just too healthy looking and tempting... LOL!


    Thanks again!

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    Ostrich, the well formed pink rose shown is a hybrid I created just a few years ago that has so far impressed me and hopefully continues to do so.

    Not the best photo, though this is 'Emily Carr', a big tall vigorous grower, the cupped blooms are long lasting, though scentless, plant has attractive large foliage that is moderately disease resistant. Mine is now old and I must take cuttings to rejuvenate it.


    'Prairie Joy' is a very good rose, really can't say a bad word about it, okay other than it will ball at times during wet weather. 'Canadian Shield', yes, it's that sprawling that I do not much care for and last year mine was somewhat badly diseased as well, though it might possibly improve with time.

    'Empowerment' is new, it was hybridized by myself many long years ago and taken into recent production by Bylands Nursery. It's a cross derived from 'Winnipeg Parks' that displays high quality very long lasting weather resistant blooms that show little fading until the petals drop cleanly about three weeks later. I wouldn't claim it to be continuous blooming, but it puts on a heck of a show for at least six weeks and can rebloom in the autumn if the summer has been warm and the plant kept well fed. This rose actually prefers to be cut right down to the ground come spring, it then pushes strong shoots loaded with blooms. It has shown good disease resistance here in Alberta, though likely would struggle with foliage issues where summers are humid. Best to plant with several inches of stem buried below ground to ensure survival of the crown in the event of little snow cover. The nursery had selected the name of the rose, I had desired to name it for the very dedicated rosarian Harry McGee of London, Ontario who much admired the rose upon his visit several years ago, a wonderful visit it was!


  • ostrich
    17 days ago

    FrozeBudd, I am speechless - your work is so impressive!!! That pink rose is STUNNING!


    As for Empowerment, I take it that it's the rose in the last photo above? That is AMAZING! So it is an improvement over Winnipeg Parks then? I think that I saw it somewhere last week.... hmm.... maybe I should go with it instead! I just bought Winnipeg Parks from Canadian Tire a few days ago.... perhaps I can just switch them to Empowerment?


    Anyway, thank you so much. I am really in awe of your great work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!

  • Kelly Tregaskis Collova
    17 days ago

    Oooh!!! I’m soo excited!! We need more cold hardy varieties! I’m also borderline zone 3-4. Hopefully they will start selling this rose in the states!!

  • prairie_northrose (3b north of Calgary AB, Canada)
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    FrozeBudd, one of your roses has been taken on by Bylands? Congratulations!!!! I have long waited for one of your roses to hit the mass market. I’ll be sure to have my eye out for 'Empowerment'


    Ostrich, yes Winnipeg Parks is about three feet for me depending on the year. It grows back taller with a good fall to let the plant enter dormancy & and reliable snow cover - less of the canes die back & hence the new growth the following year starts off higher.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    You're all very kind! 'Empowerment' was one of my very first hybridizations way back in the 1980's and the original bush still remains vigorous. The rose has always been a highlight of my summer with those lovely and lasting blooms. I was surprised and thrilled to have seen a few nice bushy specimens at Store Store and almost had purchased one for myself, but honestly that just felt strange paying for my own rose, lol. It has superior bloom quality to 'Winnipeg Parks' and puts on a display that makes one stop and stand there admiring ... though, 'Winnipeg Parks' has near continuous repeat, wish I could say the same for mine, both roses having merit, Although, it tempting to leave as much live wood as possible on this rose, I do stress it really does appreciate a severe spring cut back to just a few inches above the ground to encourage fewer and stronger shoots to carry the mass of blooms. One year I hadn't pruned as such and it became a mass of smaller finer stems and the display just did not WOW as usual. I'd also recommend a tomato cage for support. Although, in it's 30 years or so, it has seen winters with scant snow, it has not been trialed under completely snowless conditions, so I do think best to plant 3 inches of the stem below ground just for good measure! Good, bad or ugly, I'd later appreciate others comments, I won't take it personally for the genetic roll of the dice the rose was granted.

    Kelly, if by chance you're in a humid region, I can't promise of it's health, while it has remained spotless in my yard with high disease pressure, it did not perform as well in Ontario's humidity, so it's being released as a regional rose.

    Prairie_northrose ... yes, Bylands is the propagator of the rose. Unfortunately, despite my desire to forge forward and again pick up speed with hybridization, this year will again be very lean in that aspect, this yard is just too large and high maintenance to allow me to get on top of things and place more emphasis on what I wish.

    This lovely rose seedling I had unfortunately lost ... though, I still have both parents, so I must attempt to redo the cross!


    PNR, please be sure to post photos this summer of your rose breeding efforts, we're going in different directions and it's fun to see the results! :)

  • prairie_northrose (3b north of Calgary AB, Canada)
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    FrozeBudd, thank you for sharing the story and process behind Enpowerment, it is very interesting! Did it inherit any fragrance?


    My roses breeding efforts looks like a several thickets of thorns haha. It’s been interesting growing the rugosas and scotch crosses, there is little dieback. I’ve been letting them mature in hopes of seeing more blooms.


    I collected some Blanc Double de Coubert open pollinated hips and a few others last year and that’s about it - they’ve been sitting in the garage still needing to be shelled! It’ll be interesting to see if the seed is viable or not. I’m hoping to freeze them & plant them later on when it’s less busy.

  • L Clark (zone 4 WY)
    17 days ago

    Very cool, frozebudd!

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    16 days ago

    PNR, if only we could wish things to happen, there isn't enough time and physical energy to get around too all. I'd like to work with some of the very hardy roses as you are, I do have a very good arkansana given to me, continuously in flower and quickly ripening its hips, produces tiny seeds that germinate like stinkweed! One superior seedling did come about, though having no cercospora resistance as inherited from the pollen donor, will have to try other crosses upon it!


    'Empowerment' has a light raspberry fragrance.


    Thanks Clark, it's fun and sometimes rewarding work! :)

  • VStapes (z3 Mb)
    2 days ago

    I just picked up Empowerment at HD. There were only two, so I took the better looking one with a bloom. This is it, correct? Very excited to see how it does.




  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    yesterday
    last modified: yesterday


    Yes, sure does look like it to me! As recommended above, plant with a few inches of stem below ground to help insure winter survival. The rose did not fare so well in Ontario's high humidity, though rather very well in the interior of BC and of course here in Alberta where I've had it growing for close to 30 years! Feed well and spring hard prune the rose for best performance, staking advisable.

  • vstapes
    yesterday

    Thanks FB, will do.