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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

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Entries in hardy roses (3)


Should We Risk Our Health for A Beautiful Rose? 

Image:-, a Canadian catalogue and online plant provider.Recently, the French language garden magazine Fleurs Plantes et Jardins published a pictorial review of roses that survive cold climates. Included in that article was a photo of the hybrid musk rose, Mozart. A continuous top seller at many retail and online nurseries, it caught my attention because it is striking and beautiful.  

Researching this plant online, I discovered that it flowers profusely, producing a non-stop show of enormous sprays of small, single pink blooms with white centers and reddish-  pink edges. Its arching habit allows the gardener to grow it as a cascading specimen or as a climber against a fence.

This is a perfumed rose that tolerates light shade, re blooms until autumn, and grows 3 to 6 feet tall depending upon growing conditions. In some locations, it is reported to spread wider than 8 feet. In the fall, the color display is followed by showy orange hips.

Most importantly, it has excellent resistance to disease. With a winter tolerance for CND Zone 4 or USDA Zone 5, the description of this rose is impressive. What’s not to like? Plenty!

While Mozart is virtually disease resistant, it is not pest free. Here is a list of all of the bugs that might attack this rose, depending upon a gardener’s local eco-system:-  Aphids, leaf hoppers, spider mites, scale, caterpillars, sawfly larvae, cane borers, Japanese beetles, rose stem girders, rose midges, rose slugs, rose chafers, and  leaf-cutting bees.

If Mozart is such a cafeteria for bugs, it may be necessary to spray it with pesticides. However, many gardeners worry that using such products compromises the health of all living things; some are not convinced that it does while still others pay no attention to such matters.

I don’t want to tempt fate by trying to prove who is right and who is wrong. I prefer to be cautious. Consequently, I am reluctant to plant this versatile, eye-catching rose. Those who are concerned about the residual effects that toxic substances have upon all living things will opt for carefree plants that need no pesticides to survive.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if breeders could develop a pest- free rose that performs just like Mozart does?


"Campfire" is a Continuous-Blooming Rose for Cold Climates. blooming roses are one of the most important plants that I use in my garden compositions. Their petals are reminiscent of the soft, old-fashioned flower heads of yesteryear, while their ruggedness resonates with gardeners in colder climates. Depending upon variety and growing conditions, a large number of them are resistant to pests and diseases.

The only shortcoming of this class of plants is the absence of intense fragrance usually associated with short blooming high maintenance hybrid tea and old-fashioned roses. Nevertheless, for this perennial gardener, who wants to see color in his flowerbeds all season long, nothing compares to continuous blooming rose bushes to pump out colorful flowers from early summer to late fall and sometimes to early winter. my enthusiasm, therefore, when I read, in the Spring 2013 edition of Garden Making magazine, that Campfire Rose, would be this season’s new introduction in the Canadian Artist Series. From the developers of the Explorer and Parkland roses, this series of next-generation plants are named after Canadian artists who created lasting works of beauty on canvas, in sculpture, or in song. Campfire Rose pays homage to a painting by Tom Thompson.

A Canadian Artists rose is evaluated more rigorously than those in the previous two series of Parkland and Explorer for the benefit of growers and gardeners across Canada and the northern United States. It must be adaptable to all parts of Canada and able to survive the climate, frost lines, diseases and capricious weather patterns from coast to coast. That means a gardener in Prince George, British Columbia, can reliably grow the same rose bush as the gardener in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Kingston, Ontario, Dauphin, Manitoba, or Truro, Nova Scotia.

For those of us who garden in cold climates, it’s comforting to know that roses that have been bred in Canada hardly ever require winter protection. Known for their toughness and refinement, they have strong root systems, clean foliage, good-to-excellent disease resistance, and strong blooming power.

Campfire Rose variety starts to flower in early summer and remains in bloom until hard frost sets in. Can a passionate gardener ask for anything more?

Growers report that this vibrant, multi-colored variety is an awesome performer. Commercial sites describe it as having a mild fragrance. Very rounded, full and bushy, it reaches 2 to 3 feet in height and is slightly wider than high.  

According to technical details supplied by the breeder and growers, the 20-petal blossoms of Campfire Rose begin as shapely buds with yellow and red tones. The flowers open yellow, edged in a deep rosy pink. Some blooms that appear  in the early season will be nearly all yellow, gradually developing pink edging. As the season progresses the pink edging becomes more prominent. Some flowers will be nearly all pink and some nearly all yellow. As autumn approaches, the blooms tend to be yellow in bud, quickly turning soft pink. Growers report that the unusual, stunning, visual effect is harlequin-like.  

Campfire Rose is described as being one of the most disease resistant of any hardy rose and cold hardy to USDA Zone 2 or CAN Zone 3. The branching on this plant is at 45 degrees, giving it both height and width. It covers ground quickly yet has enough height to be used as a high ground cover or low shrub. The stems are smooth with only the occasional short thorns, making it easy to work with.  This upcoming spring, I look forward with great excitement to test grow this new rose in my garden.

Most Canadian nurseries carry Canadian Artist roses. American gardeners should inquire at the nurseries listed below.



Levi Reunions Inc.


St. Paul

Bailey Nurseries


St. Paul

Friends School Of Minnesota


North Dakota


High Plains Concept



Harvest Garden Centre



Sheyenne Gardens



Helen's Country Greenhouse



The Flower House



Hwy 200 Greenhouse



Beautiful Bonica, my Favorite Rose Bush

Image courtesy of Ruston Roses .comBonica is a beautiful low-maintenance rose and a prolific bloomer. It flowers from June until the first frost, in zones 3 to 9, and grows to a height of 3 feet. When in bloom, this rose bush is covered in masses of cluster sprays of clear pink dainty blooms. It looks like a pink fireworks display, frozen in time.

This is a tough plant with a very subtle scent of apple. It will tolerate cold winters and very hot summers. I grow it in zone 5a without winter protection. By accident I discovered that Bonica flowers quite well on old stems. One season I neglected to trim the branches for winter and the following June it blossomed into a huge arching shrub, exploding with pink mini roses that spanned 4 feet at the top.

Like most hardy easy care shrub roses, this plant demands full sun, moisture, nourishment and dead heading for continuous blooming. I feed it slow release fertilizer and Epsom salts in early spring and early summer. Ironically, it was difficult finding a web photo that did this rose justice. Try growing it and you will understand why it’s so popular with gardeners.