Maine Rose Society (MRS) members like to grow things, especially roses. Members, from all walks of life, enjoy getting together once a month to talk about roses, answer each other’s questions, and share our passion. During summer months, we meet in member’s gardens to enjoy the color, fragrance and blooms nurtured by our host gardener.
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For many years people have grown roses in Canada. Until the late 1960s, Canadians had four choices. They could raise once blooming hardy, grow Hybrid Tea roses as annuals, grow Hybrid Tea roses and cover them deeply and carefully or move south. Then came along Agriculture Canada and developed hardy rose for their climate. The results follow and are listed by two groups in the order they were developed.
Martin Frobisher, a very hard, vigorous, upright rose that suckers freely, flowers well and is relatively disease free. The blush pink blooms are semi-double and slightly fragrant but the bush habit is very open and sparse.
Jens Munk, a rugosa hybrid with an upright arching form. The blooms are semi-double, pure medium pink and fragrant. It flowers freely in June, has an excellent flush in the fall and some blooms in between. It is subject to some mildew but is one of the hardiest Explorers and one of the rugosa hybrids.
Henry Hudson, a dense, relatively low-growing rugosa hybrid with good foliage. The pink buds open to semi-double white flowers. There are masses of bloom, but they do not drop cleanly.
John Cabot, a very thorny, large, arching kordesii hybrid that can be used as a climber. The double flowers are dark pink. Not quite as hardy as William Baffin, it has two main flushes of bloom. It repeats much better if grown in full sun and few well.
John Franklin, is a small shrub with dark foliage and continuous bloom. The flowers are semi-double with dark red frilly petals. It is susceptible to blackspot and is more tender than other Explorers.
David Thompson is a rugosa hybrid that forms a large round shrub. The blooms are semi-double, deep mauve-pink with some white streaks toward the center. The flowers lack form but repeat bloom is excellent.
Champlain is small shrub that shows its floribunda heritage in its masses of bloom. The semi-double flowers are deep red and repeat profusely all season. It is one of the least hardy of the Explorers and subject to some mildew.
Charles Albanel is a low growing, very hardy rugosa hybrid with deep pink, double, fragrant blooms that repeat very well.
William Baffin is the most vigorous and one of the hardiest Explores. Its upright form allows it to be used as a climber or a dense shrub but it must be well fed and have lots or sun to perform at its best. The bright pink blooms are produced prolifically all season.
Henry Kelsey is a kordesii hybrid with semi-double, dark red blooms with showy yellow stamens. It blooms prolifically, but does have some blackspot. One of the few dark red climbers, is not as hardy has some of the Explorers.
Alexander Mackenzie is a vigorous arching shrub with soft re, fragrant blooms and healthy foliage. It is relatively hardy but may suffer some dieback in very cold areas. It is a lovely bush but only has two flushes of blooms.
John Davis is a vigorous arching plant with healthy foliage that can be used as a climber if well fed. The medium pink, lightly fragrant blooms repeat all season. It looks somewhat like Bonica but is far hardier. It survives well to -30 degrees.
J. P. Connell is the first yellow hardy rose from the Explorer series. The pale lemon yellow buds fade to cream as they open. This rose is slow to become established. The size and repeat blooming characteristics keep improving for several years. This is a very tough little rose but does need a lot of patience.
Captain Samuel Holland is a vigorous kordesii hybrid with long, arching shoots that can be uses as a pillar or climber. The clusters of deep pink blooms start with hybrid tea form but open flat. The plant is extremely healthy, hardy and the blooms repeats well.
Frontenac is a compact shrub with semi-double, medium pink blooms with white at the base of the petals. It is very floriferous, very healthy, very hardy and makes an excellent small specimen bush.
Louis Jolliet is a large shrub with long thorn canes. The plant blooms profusely and the double, deep pink decorative blooms appear in clusters along the stems. Plant growth is a bit slower than other Explorers but it is very hardy.
Simon Fraser is a small sprawling shrub with glossy leaves and salmon pink blooms. A young bush is apt to produce single blooms but as the plant gets older, more petals form to a semi-double. The plant is prone to mildew and blackspot.
George Vancouver is a semi-double with decorative dark red blooms that fade to pink with age. It repeats well. Growth habits vary from a compact shrub to having long arching branches.
Lambert Closse is a small bush. The coral pink blooms fade to light pink and are very double. The blooms have quilled petals and some fragrance. They have the best form of any of the Explorer series and repeats very well.
Royal Edward is a very low spreading, hardy bush that can be used as ground cover. The semi-double blooms are small, medium pink which fade to light pink. It repeats quickly all season.
Quadra is a velvety red rose with very double blooms that look like a cross between a gallica and a hybrid tea. They have a light fragrance, bloom in clusters and repeat well all season. The plant is disease free and hardy and can be used as a climber.
De Montarville stars with red buds but becomes medium pink, semi-double blooms with good substance and good repeat qualities. It is very hardy.
Nicholas is a very floriferous, compact plant with medium red flowers.
Maric-Victorin has buds and newly opened flowers that are pale peach. It is a very hardy rose bush.
William Booth is a very hardy, very vigorous bush that can be used as a climber. Its blooms are single, red, which have white eyes and repeats well.
(Is not as well known as the Explorer Series and they are not as hardy as a group.)
Cuthbert Grant has Crimson Glory in its pedigree. It blooms in late June and again I late summer.
Adelaide Hoodless is about 40 inches high, blooms profusely in late June, sporadically through out the summer with a heavier flush in September.
Morden Amorette is a compact shrub. It has dark pink to light red blooms and repeats well if deadheaded. It has some black spot and might die back to snow line in extreme conditions. It recovers well.
Morden Ruby is a ruby red bush that is a sport of red and pink speckled bush. It occasionally reverts back to the speckled variety. It grows to about 40 inches, very hardy but blooms mostly in two flushes.
Morden Cardinett is a short, ever-blooming plant. It has medium red, semi-double blooms that may come singly or in clusters. However, some of the blooms in the clusters never seem to fully open. It has some winterkill but recovers well.
Morden Centennial is very hardy, medium pink, semi-double that blooms continuously if deadheaded. The bush is about 40 inches.
Morden Blush is one of the better Parkland Series. It grows from 2-5 feet depending upon its location. The blooms are usually ivory with a pink blush center but in cool weather the whole flower will be pink. It is very double which opens flat then holds the form for up to two weeks. It is very hard and repeats very well.
Morden Fireglow is a glowing scarlet red. It is very hardy, has a slight fragrance but balls in wet weather. Its repeat blooming is just sporadic.
Prairie Joy is a medium pink, which blooms in clusters on long arching shoots. The plant is very dense, very disease free, very hardy but has very little repeat blooming.
Winnipeg Parks is very hardy with a bush habit similar to a floribunda. The dark pink (almost red), semi double blooms do not last long as individuals but the blooms keep coming continuously.
Hope for Humanity is a compact shrub which has dark red, decorative blooms. The blooms have excellent substance and appear in clusters. The first blooms appear on year old canes but for the next 10 to 14 weeks continue to bloom on new growth. In extreme cold the plant suffers some winterkill.
Morden Snowbeauty is the first white hardy rose to come from the Parkland series. It does not have a classic bloom but is very hardy and very disease resistant.
Morden Sunrise is due to be released in 2000. It is the first yellow rose from the Parkland series.
Of course, there are other hardy roses such as those developed by Giffith Buck. Commonly referred to as “Buck Roses." Most mini rose are propagated from cuttings are quite hardy and even though they may die back in the winter somewhat, they will grow back as the same bush.