Pitiful growth....

ostrich(3a AB)June 11, 2014

So, all but one of my roses are DEAD. Just the Morden Belle survived, with ONE cane coming up.... sigh! Look:

Otherwise, Morden Sunrise, Morden Blush and Pink Peace all RIP and have been RIPPED UP!!! :-(

Anyway, let's see what this one cane wonder will do. Otherwise, I may just replace it with some REALLY hardy rugosa like Therese Bugnet or Hansa!!!

My clematis did even worse. One died (Earnest Markham) so I had that replaced. My Huldine has some very slow growth - just about 2 inches so far! But at least it is growing..... look at this Jackmanii Superba - there is NOTHING super about it:

Do you see that teeny little bit of green just to the bottom right hand corner of those dried stems?! That has been sitting like that for the last couple of weeks!!!!!!!!!!! I am losing my patience rapidly and am thinking that I should just replace it.... should I? Or should I just be a patient gardener here!? Sigh....

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Sorry about your roses. But Therese Bugnet is a superb rose, so if you go that route then you will have a winning rugosa, that doesn't look "coarse" like most other rugosas. Hansa is as tough as they come, but it does have that coarse look...

I'd be patient on those clematis for awhile yet. My J. Superba is now 6 feet tall, but it is in a very protected spot. Give yours some water, some fertilizer, it's growth could take off. I have a couple Ville de Lyon... one of which is growing well, about 2' tall with numerous stems, but the other is sluggish, maybe 0.5' tall and really just emerging. Too early to pull the plug on clematis!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 3:24AM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

The clematis i have in sunnier areas are doing quite well - Nelly Moser is about 2 feet tall and Pope John Paul II is 3 or more feet high now. By contrast, Durandii, Multiblue, Little Duckling and General Sikorsky are barely poking out of the ground. My notoriously slow Ville de Lyons is a no-show so far.

As far as roses go, several years ago it seemed that Henry Kelsey was a goner and when i dug him out i found Henry Junior growing from a root! I babied him along for the summer and then planted him in his current location and he has flourished ever since then!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:10AM
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My non-alpina clematises came out just this week. I find they're always quite late.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 1:42PM
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I am thinking all my clematises are dead. No sign of green growth at all. These are establishes plants, must have been a harsh winter for them (but then, what winter isn't harsh in SK? lol).

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:13PM
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rosecavalier(3 AB)

Ostrich: my heart goes out to you...winter and spring conditions in Alberta can be ruthless...I've lived in northwestern Alberta most of my life...the climate here is very similar to southern Alberta (I lived in Lethbridge for a couple of years)...chinooks during the winter...plant dessicating conditions to the end of May...the only significant difference is that we are 5 degrees C colder on any given day than in Lethbridge...wind conditions are similar as it is prairie here...this has been my first hand experience and observation over a lifetime.

The real question you have to ask yourself is "How much effort do I want to invest to create my Eden?"

There have been successful rose growers in the past...from all over Alberta...but guaranteed they had to find a system that worked for them...and guaranteed they had experiences just like you have had this year.

Even the wonderful rose breeder, Robert Erskine(breeder of Prairie Peace and Madelaine's Choice) from Rocky Mountain House, had devastating experiences (from weather to rodents)...wiping out years of work in a single season.

I've come to the general conclusion that the system you develop to grow roses is more important than the rose selection...for example, the hybrid teas Accapella and Illusion can be grown in with hardier roses IF you have a system . Also many OLD Garden Roses (typically Zone 4) thrive the same way...e.g Mme Plantier, Rose de Recht, and Alba semi-plena. Expose these roses to a normal winter without protection and they will look like a rhubarb plant in March...a mound of brown, dead plant material. Give these adequate protection and they thrive.

One can persue growing early prairie bred roses if the above approach is unsuitable for you...some of the breeder's selections I can recommend are from:

Robert Erskine
Frank Skinner
Percy Wright
Walter Schowalter
Georges Bugnet
Robert Simonet
Neils Hansen
John Wallace

Many of the cultivars these gentlemen created are exquisite specimens...become large bushes over time. They have survived the acid test of our prairie climate.

A great description of these roses and the breeders can be found in the publication "The Rosemakers" by Harry McGee 2010...Published by National-Roses-Canada.

Don't give up...be patient...and give yourself a time frame of 10 yrs with whatever system you chose...anything less is unrealistic in this climate as plants grow slowly.

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 2:19PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

Thanks, everyone, for listening to my whining! :-) I am going to water and baby these clematis a bit more and see what happens....

As for roses, rosecavalier, you are so right. This is very harsh climate for roses, and if I am to continue, I need to find my own system. For now, I will just go with some very hardy roses, if necessary, like the rugosas. Then I will decide if I am dedicated enough to try something more adventurous!

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 11:14PM
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Ostrich I feel bad for you. Every year I'm also saddened when I lose things. Morden belle looked like a goner for me but has now really got going. She's in her 2nd year so I wasn't sure. Therese is my favorite. I like her so much I now have 5. Just so dependable and literally no work. I know to some she may be boring but every northern gardener should have this rose. I bought two red leaf roses the other day just because of their hardiness and foliage. William Baffin has also been a new favorite, zero die back in its 2nd year so I got another. I hate throwing away hundreds of dollars yearly in things I hope will return the next year. But I'm a sucker and bought 6 hybrid teas this year because I like the variety. Good luck with your gardening.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:38AM
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rosecavalier(3 AB)

I didn't mention that many of those PRAIRIE bred roses are not sold in local nurseries...but look at it as an adventure and research project...takes a bit of digging...but in the end it may have a story attached...which makes the rose that much more special.

Ostrich...if you want an interesting rugosa, try Wild Edric...available bareroot from Hortico and Pickering...bred in England and released in 2005...turning out to be a winner in all aspects...order early...before October.

Photo...Hansa on left, Wild Edric on right

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 10:58AM
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