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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Coming up roses: Where to see them, how to choose them

The Spokesman-Review

Upcoming Rose Show

The Spokane Rose Society will hold its annual show Saturday at the Spokane Valley Mall. Judging starts at 10 a.m. The show will be open to the public until 9 p.m. Society members will answer questions about the roses in the show and all-things-rose. Admission is free.

A good read

For more information on most of the roses on Figg’s and Shafer’s lists, pick up a copy of “Roses for Washington and Oregon,” by Brad Julbert and Laura Peters ( Lone Pine Publishing, $18.95).

Not only does the book have good descriptions of individual roses, it also has lots of information about growing and caring for regional roses.

Where to see roses

One of the best places in the Inland Northwest to view the range of shapes, sizes and colors of roses is at Manito Park’s Rose Hill. The Spokane Parks Department maintains between 1,500 and 2,000 plants that represent all the types of roses. The garden is an official Display Garden of the All-American Rose Selections. Watch Home’s Garden Calendar for upcoming tours guided by members of the Spokane Rose Society.

New, improved varieties

Hardy Old and Shrub Roses: The old varieties and a number of new ones are coming back into the garden. For the most part the old roses and shrub roses are just like any other garden shrub. They grow naturally into healthy, well-shaped form that need little pruning or training and can be incorporated into many parts of a landscape. They can fit into various spots in the landscape, from screening hedge sizes down to ground-hugging plants used as a ground cover. Rose breeders have even been able to develop many varieties that bloom throughout the growing season, are very fragrant, and are resistant to disease and insects.

Most old roses and shrub roses are hardy to USDA Zone 5 or colder, which means minimal winter protection is needed. Because most are not grafted, if they are killed to the ground by winter, they can grow back from the roots.

Canadian Roses: Researchers at Agriculture Canada have developed three very hardy groups of roses in the last 30 years, including the Explorer (each named after a famous Canadian explorer,) Morden and Parkland series. Each series includes small and large shrubs and climbers that are hardy to at least USDA Zone 5 (Many are hardy down to Zones 3 or 4) with red, pink and white blooms. An interesting note: There are few tough-as-nails old rose or shrub yellow roses out there because the parent plant that brought the yellows into the breeding mix came from Persia and are not known for their hardiness.

David Austin’s New English Roses: Probably the best known of the new shrub roses are those developed by the British breeder David Austin of Albrighton, England. For the last 40 years, he has been developing what has been said to be the first really new rose since the development of the Hybrid Teas of the 1860s and the Floribundas of the 1930s. Austin’s New English Roses are characterized by very full “cabbage” flowers that bloom repeatedly on smaller plants that fit in today’s gardens.

Pat Munts

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

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