Books about roses are plentiful, often filled with beautiful photos taken in grand gardens, but light on practical information. Then, there are those that are reprints of editions that originated in the UK, where growing conditions are more favourable than in North America.
In Canada, we’re lucky to have Hardy Roses: The Essential Guide for High Latitudes and Altitudes, by Bob Osborne. In 2020, we have a new edition – the third – of Osborne’s rose guide first published in 1991. Osborne, owner of Corn Hill Nursery in New Brunswick, has grown all of the roses he writes about, notably in harsh winter conditions without insecticides.
Each edition of this classic gets better — more hardy roses (now more than 100 cultivars) profiled, and more growing information on planting, wintering over and pruning. There are detailed instructions on propagating roses and how to fend off diseases and pests, although most of Osborne’s recommendations are disease-resistant.
The book doesn’t lack for gorgeous photos. Beth Powning, a full-time writer and author of three novels who also lives in New Brunswick, is responsible for the images in this new edition.
“The roses in this book are those my nursery has grown for decades, or at least several years for newer cultivars,” Osborne writes in the introduction. “We believe their performance shows them capable of growing in cold country gardens, or gardens anywhere… I am confident that this list offers the northern grower a great number of superb, diverse roses from which to choose.”
Order Hardy Roses guide
Published by Firefly Books; 206 pages; $24.95 list price.
Buy Hardy Roses from ChaptersIndigo.ca
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Winner of a copy of Hardy Roses
Congratulations to Sharon G. of Brantford, Ontario, whose name was randomly selected from 645 entries in our June 2020 draw to receive in the mail a copy of Hardy Roses.