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Parks Rose — Perfect For The Prairies

Like all hardy roses, Winnipeg Parks will die back to the snow line but new growth soon emerges in the spring.

Many gardeners admire the exquisite form and beauty of the rose, but few are prepared to put in the considerable effort and expense of growing hybrid tea roses as they are not easy plants to grow on the Prairies. Although they are subject to disease and pest problems, the most frustrating thing about growing them is that they are quite tender

and without adequate winter protection will not survive our harsh weather.

To satisfy this yearning for “the perfect rose” by Prairie gardeners, hybridizers have developed several series of hardy roses, notably the Parkland series, the Explorer series and recently a series has been developed whose members are named after famous Canadian artists. Most of these roses are hardy without winter protection and are relatively easy to grow – not demanding the rigorous care required by the hybrid teas.

In the hybridization process however, often something is lost, and in the case of hardy roses it is a trade-off of perfume for the hardiness achieved in the new series. Most hardy roses do not have as much scent as the tea roses, nor do they have the perfect classic form to their flowers; most have a more open bloom that is reminiscent of the rugosa roses from which many of them are developed.

For a good perfume – albeit not as strong as many of the hybrid teas – and for an almost perfectly shaped bloom, one

member of the Parkland series stands out; the Winnipeg Parks. This rose has medium-red flowers of very good form that hold their classic shape until very mature. The foliage is also attractive, being deep green with reddish-purple overtones. Leaves are similar in shape, size and texture to the leaves of many hybrid tea roses. The shrub itself is compact and bushy and quite a number of upright growing stems are produced by each bush.

Like all hardy roses, Winnipeg Parks will die back to the snow line but new growth soon emerges in the spring and before the end of June blooms are produced. The bushes will flower all summer and well into the fall. All roses, including Winnipeg Parks, will perform best when given adequate moisture, lots of direct sun and rich soil which contains lots of humus. If good air circulation is provided the possibility of black spot and other disease problems will be minimized.

If you want a good rose that reminds you of the exquisitely formed tea roses grown in warmer climes, try a Winnipeg Parks rose. I guarantee that you will not be disappointed with this wonderful hardy rose developed at the Morden Research Station in Morden, Manitoba.

– Albert Parsons writes from Minnedosa, Manitoba

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