In an ideal world I would say that every garden should have between 1 and 5 roses, but understandably not every garden is suited for one. Many gardeners,
both new and experienced, shy away from roses because they are perceived as delicate, or finicky. But don’t rule them out just yet; there a number of extremely hardy, tough roses that grow exceptionally well here.
Morden roses are among some of the toughest, and hardiest of roses. Named after the Morden Rose Breeding program in Manitoba, these roses are well known for their cold tolerance (down to Zone 2), and bright colours. Between 1967 and 2004 the ‘Parkland Series’ was developed at Morden and they are some of the most popular roses grown in Canada. I wanted to share with you a few of my favourites, in hopes that you will try one for yourself!
Morden Belle has striking, double pink blooms which absolutely cover the shrub. The lightly scented flowers stand at the end of the stems from late spring to fall, making it a great choice for cut flowers. It has deep, glossy green foliage, and is very disease resistant. It displays deep red hips in the fall and will reach about 4 feet in height, and 3 feet in width.
Morden Blush has distinctive dark pink buds that open to lightly scented white flowers with overtones of shell pink. Its flowers, blooming from the end of each stem, appear late spring through summer, making it an excellent rose for cut flowers. It is disease resistant and has deep green foliage. Tomato-orange hips emerge in the fall, and at maturity will reach about 3 feet around.
Morden Sunrise is a popular shrub rose due to its wonderful colouring.
It has showy, lightly scented, semi-double, yellow flowers
with a peach-pink center that opens from orange buds. It blooms at the end of its stems from early summer right through fall, and is excellent for cutting. It is disease resistant
and its foliage turns a bright yellow in the fall. Orange hips are displayed in the fall and it reaches about 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide.
Morden Centennial is an upright shrub rose that is completely smothered in flowers from late spring to fall. It has large, lightly scented, double, hot pink flowers with a yellow eye.
It blooms at the end of its stems and will give you plenty of cut flowers all season long. Its disease resistant foliage turns bright yellow in the fall. At maturity it will reach about 5 feet in height and 4 feet across.
Roses are a great focal point in the garden, but they also make great hedges. It is fairly simple to make a rose hedge and with their bold blooms they make a big impact. To create a rose hedge plant your roses about two feet apart and they will do the rest. Once they have filled in they will require about the same amount of maintenance a traditional hedge would, and they will reward you with a wall of blooms.
One of the most common questions I get about roses is when to prune them. I like to prune my roses in early spring, once the trees native to our area start to bud. Cut off any winter kill, and also any tall, leggy, or thin branches. Try to always cut on the same angle as the branch. When removing spent flowers cut down to the next set of leaves.
Roses are great plants; they provide a big show and require very little care. I encourage you to try one of these hardy Morden Roses this summer!