A rose by any other name...
Create a strong focal point in your garden with hardy roses

Bill Reid rose

Emily Carr rose

Felix LeClerc rose

Make your commitment to Earth Day 2012 extend beyond a few token gestures on a designated day by infusing some new life and colour into your home garden.

Maintaining a garden in your front and back yards does much more than simply enhance the curb appeal of your home. They are a statement of environmentalism, establishing plant life in an urban setting and creating habitats for any number of creatures, from insects to birds to small mammals. When considering your garden this year, do it a favour by establishing a strong focal point with roses.

“The rose is one of our most cherished and beloved plants, and we often associate the emotion and beauty it evokes with a special occasion,” says Denis Flanagan, public relations manager with Landscape Ontario. “Today’s roses are hardy, low-maintenance plants that immediately add a sense of class and style to your garden. For sheer floral elegance, there is nothing more evocative than the lingering scent of a rose garden on a hot summer day.”

Today’s roses are bred with special care to hardiness and disease resistance that will ensure they survive harsh Canadian winters. Breeders have also developed roses that will re-bloom throughout the entire season to ensure consistent colour in your summer garden. These innovations have made roses incredibly versatile, and they can now be used in your garden where you may have once considered planting a flowering shrub. Roses excel as a shrub border, in planter boxes, on a trellis or in mass commercial plantings.

Here are some tips for selecting the right rose for your garden:

  • Look beyond the colour
    It’s not enough to just look at the picture on the tag and decide that is what you want in your garden. Speak with the experts at your local garden centre to select roses that will work best in your climate conditions.

  • Consider the rootstock
    Many roses being sold may not come from local rootstock, meaning they may not be hardy for Canada’s colder regions. Look for hardy rootstock (Rosa multiflora); many of the new hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora and climber varieties will perform very well in the Greater Toronto Area if on a hardy rootstock.

  • Buy local
    Canada has had a very successful rose breeding program since the late 19th century, and new advancements are still being made. Canadian roses are strong enough to withstand prolonged freezing temperatures and are diseases resistant, but still boast vibrant colours and great fragrance. The newest rose from the Canadian breeding program, the Bill Reid rose, is set to be released this spring at local Landscape Ontario member garden centres. The Bill Reid is part of the new Canadian Artists series, along with the Felix LeClerc and Emily Carr roses. Visit www.canadianartistsroses.com for details.

Hardy roses are available now at independent garden centres. To find a garden centre near you, please visit the Find a company page on landscapeontario.com and click on Garden Centres.