When I first started gardening years ago, I never imagined I would develop
a love of Canadian winter hardy shrub roses, most of which have
little or no scent to them.
There are many beautifully scented hardy shrub roses,
but very few have survived in my zone 3/4 garden.
(USDA hardiness garden zones)
There have been many dollars wasted trying in this garden. Luckily however
a few have survived, but don't flourish as the two roses
I am going to share in this post.
The first rose I would like to introduce is William Baffin.
Such an amazing rose for large gardens. It would not do well to
plant this in a tiny space as he loves room to grow.
I have four of these in this garden; two of them have reached their expected
8' to 10' height and are each about the same across. The other two are young yet
and I will be excited to see if they grow to be as beautiful as the others.
You can see one of the young ones in the background in the right of the photo below.
William Baffin has beautiful arching canes which can also
be trained to climb, although I have left mine to grow into a pretty fountain
shape in a bed near the road that runs in front of our property.
To take the photo below I am standing under the shrub taking the photo.
It gives you an idea of how abundant this rose's first late spring flush is.
It's first bloom is at the same time that the peonies and poppies are also
blooming and this is when I think this garden is prettiest.
I have heard many people say "why have a rose with no scent?" and I used
to be one of them, but the color and shape of the loose bloom is
worth it to me. And
because I don't have as many
options as many gardeners who live in kinder climates for roses.
In the photo below, you can see how close to the road this front bed is and I
have tried to make the bed something lovely for those passing by while also
enclosing the rest of the property and making the area around our house more private.
The William Baffins in this bed when in bloom are big enough and showy enough
to be the right choice for it. I have several large rose bushes in this bed and
love it when they are all in bloom.
This is a major US highway going through Idaho from Canada down through our state
to Arizona and is busy-busy-busy so the large trees and shrubs help cut down on the noise.
A funny story about this photo below is that friends kept telling me that I was in
this very spot when they were on Google Earth and viewing our town,
so I had to go see for myself, and sure enough there I was weeding away.
Thankfully Google Earth has since been updated and I am nowhere
to be found in the garden!
You can see some of the canes of the William Baffin
in the background behind the tree.
In the photo below you are looking from the road which is higher than the garden
and in toward where our house sits and more areas of the property.
This Japanese lilac (Ivory Silk) also blooms the same time as the first flush of roses.
The second rose I want to share is the John Cabot rose.
Another amazing hardy Canadian shrub rose from the same
John Cabot is also a large shrub rose or climber like the William Baffin,
although mine grow much fuller in form than the William.
I have six in the garden at this time and love, love, love them.
Here is one trained as a climber in the front bed on an arbor with a riverbank
grape frighting for position. I'm afraid the grape is winning!
Another I have left to grow into a large shrub also in the same bed.
John Cabot has a slight scent and really is a beautiful thing when left to himself.
(which is funny I should even say that--like I have any choice in the matter :)
Even though I'm the gardener here...they are still the boss of me.
They are the ones with the thorns!
Soon enough I will be seeing a little life in the garden.
None yet, but soon.
In the meantime I'm actually enjoying this long break from the garden.
Making lists of chores and things to move and of course, more things I can
coax Dale into building for me. Maybe not this year, but surely next!