Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Look At Cold Hardiness In Climbers and Ramblers - Spring 2012

It was almost a year ago that I wrote a piece on cold hardiness of climbers and ramblers. The focus of that piece was to look at dieback at the end of the winter of 2010-2011. This winter, 2011-2012 was one of the mildest winters in the Central NY area. There was very little if any die back. But this spring was bizarre. In March and April, temperatures ranged from the low 20s to almost 90- up and down, within days. Roses leafed out at least a month earlier than they typically do and then were hammered repeatedly with hard frosts. Although the cold wiped out all the buds on my wisterias, it gave me an opportunity to look at how different varieties of roses respond to freezing after leafing out.
I always prune my roses as the forsythia starts to bloom. This year I pruned at least a month earlier than I typically do. There was no difference in how the roses responded to this earlier pruning and later pruning.
Keep in mind, all roses grown here have been selected for cold hardiness and disease resistance. This is what I observed.

·         No roses were killed or had severe dieback from the repeated warming and freezing. It appears that overall cold hardiness is a good indicator of the ability to withstand freezing after leafing out.
·         Roses that had no damage at all to their foliage and canes included all the once blooming ramblers (Rosa multiflora, setigera, beggeriana, spinosissima, arvensis and a some wichurana, rubiginosa and kordesii hybrids).
·         Most of the Canadian Explorers had no damage (Rosa kordesii hybrids). A few had some damage to their tips (Henry Kelsey and Quadra- the only red Explorers).  Unfortunately, the Exploreres do not get as tall as the other climbers and ramblers.
·         The R. kordeseii hybrids varied in their response. Some had no dieback, others had damage just to their new tips, while others had several inches of dieback.  The most resilient ones include: Gelber Engel, Jasmina, Laguna, Morgengruss,  and Manita. They were followed by Aschermittwoch,   Ilse Krohn Superior, Leverkusen, Red Corsair, Rosarium Uetersen, Summer Breeze, Summer Wine.
·         Older, more established roses held up better than roses recently planted.
·         Overall, the most vigorous growers were the most resilient. These roses tend to root the easiest, as well. 


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

The New Year is a time to take stock, look back, celebrate successes and set new goals. Der Rosenmeister began like many businesses as a dream. We started selling roses from the driveway of our old home in downtown Ithaca in the spring of 2003. Since then we moved to a three acre parcel just outside of the city limits, built a 50’ hoop house, planted extensive display beds and increased our collection to well over 300 varieties of cold hardy roses, both old and new. Last summer, we purchased a misting bench, installed roll up sides on our hoophouse for better ventilation, and installed a hundred foot long tunnel of arches for climbing and rambling roses. We were lucky enough to add many varieties of very rare, old roses from Cliff Orent’s collection, EuroDesert Roses, as he dissolved his nursery. We are in the midst of redesigning the display beds and our website to better serve your needs and to reflect our mission of preserving cold hardy roses for the future.
The past year has been a good one, though challenging. The economy has impacted buying habits. Consumers don’t have as much money for the “extras” like roses. But in these times, many of you have realized how important it is to enjoy simple pleasures, like appreciating the beauty and fragrance of roses you grow yourself and have purchased some for your gardens.
This past year, many rose nurseries across the country have either folded, declared bankruptcy or are in the process of closing. We are running out of sources in the United States to expand our collection. Regulations are tightening for importing roses from Europe. Fortunately, we had focused our efforts in the past few years on the acquiring climbers and ramblers that had not been available in North America. This year, we will be ramping up their production to bring them to you.
We don’t sell the varieties found at the big box stores or at local nurseries. Our roses are selected with cold hardiness, vigor, and beauty in mind. Each one has unique qualities that make it worth growing. We look forward to seeing you here this spring and summer.
Wishing you a year of peace, health, happiness and roses.