“Cuthbert Grant” (photo by Bernadette Vangool)
Parkland and Morden roses were developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at Morden, Manitoba. This prairie series used the native prairie rose, Rosa arkansana, as an important parent plant in the initial breeding program.‘Adelaide Hoodless’ was acquired from a friend who had grown it for years in well-drained soil with the benefit of an irrigation system and regular fertilizer applications. They looked superb, with large clusters of bright red flowers. Moved to the poorly drained soil of the Forestry Farm Garden, they died within two years.‘Cuthbert Grant,’ with beautifully formed ruby red flowers, does well at my house, even surrounded by invasive ferns, but has not fared as well at the Forestry Farm.‘Hope for Humanity’ has lovely, dark, wine-red flowers that resemble tea roses. It has great form and as a cut flower has very long, straight stems. Unfortunately, it has been short lived (three to five years) both at home and in the Garden.‘Morden Blush,’ ‘Winnipeg Parks,’ and ‘Morden Snowbeauty’ were doing well at the Heritage Rose Garden for more than 10 years and then all abruptly disappeared after a winter with little snow cover and harsh, fluctuating temperatures. ‘Morden Snowbeauty,’ a white cultivar, does well in my home garden. It has some winter dieback most years, but an early spring pruning quickly revives it.
Some of the roses tried at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo in Saskatoon. (photos by Bernadette Vangool)
‘Morden Ruby’ has ruby red flowers and appears hardier than others in the Morden series. It has a sprawling rather than an upright habit and has shown little dieback at the Garden.‘Morden Centennial,’ with medium pink flowers, is short-lived at the Heritage Rose Garden but has been a survivor in my garden, despite intense competition with perennials.‘Morden Belle’ had severe winter dieback the same year most of the Morden roses were lost at the Garden, but had recovered by the end of July and was back in good form the subsequent year. Its flowers are a bit deeper pink than ‘Morden Centennial.’ It sports glossy, medium green foliage. It should do well in prairie gardens.‘Morden Fireglow’ dies back to the ground each year in my garden but has never needed replacement. It has dark red buds and a beautiful form. In very wet weather the buds tend to “ball” (they won’t open and dry on the stem). This condition also occurs in the fall. Leafcutter bees like the foliage.I have seen ‘Morden Sunrise’ in other private gardens and it is quite stunning. The blooms range from yellow to reddish-orange, depending on growing conditions. In my home garden and the Heritage Rose Garden it has been short-lived (a maximum of three years).The Artist series of roses originated from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada breeding stock. I believe the program is being carried on by Dr. Claude Richer-Leclerc and Dr. Campbell Davidson.‘Emily Carr’ and ‘Felix Leclerc’ have been available since 2007. They were tried in the Heritage Rose Garden but succumbed to the elements the same year that the Morden roses were lost. Both are climbers with glossy foliage. ‘Emily Carr’ is a dark red cultivar while ‘Felix Leclerc’ is pink.‘Oscar Peterson,’ a white rose, and ‘Bill Reid,’ a yellow, were planted in 2017. Although they survived their first winter, they were very slow to recover.‘Canadian Shield,’ developed at Vineland from stock acquired from the old Agriculture Canada programs, did very well over its first winter, showing no dieback and robust new growth. The flowers are a deep red and the foliage a glossy green. At the Garden it retains a compact form reminiscent of miniature roses with a mature size of 1 x 1.5 m.‘Never Alone’, although introduced from Manitoba, requires winter protection in the Saskatoon area. It did not survive its first winter at the Garden.The moral of this three-part article? Roses need well-drained soil. Bernadette Vangool is a longtime member of the Saskatchewan Perennial Society.This column is provided courtesy of the Saskatchewan Perennial Society (SPS; firstname.lastname@example.org ). Check our website (saskperennial.ca) or Facebook page (facebook.com/saskperennial) for a list of upcoming gardening events: March 27, 7:30 p.m. at Emmanuel Anglican Church, 607 Dufferin at 12th Street (basement) SPS AGM and Free Public Education Event: ‘Friends of Pinks’ by Lyndon Penner.