In the Garden: Roses for every taste

  • May. 11, 2011 5:00 p.m.

I noticed a very beautiful shrub in full bloom at the front of Hospice House. I am told it is a P.J.M. rhododendron.

It is a mass of blossoms in an unusual shade of blue, almost purple. This item may not be available at every garden centre.

Do not plant any rhodos without checking them for hardiness. Many of the beautiful plants you see at the Coast will not survive in the Interior.

This may sound like a cracked record, but I am always asked for advice on the best roses to plant. Some people want lots of flowers, some people want highly scented, some people want hardy plants.

In the category of hardiness, I have no problem with the Morden series. Number one is called Cuthbert Grant, a nice red. Morden Centennial is a very good one, Morden blush is a low-growing one with good fragrance. A very good climber is called John Davis, it has a good fragrance.

There are hundreds of hybrid teas that come in all colours. The most fragrant H.T. is called Double Delight. There are a lot of older varieties that are hard to beat. Try Electron, Esmeralda, Midas Touch, Oregold, Just Joey, Sexy Rexy, Olympiad, Sunsprite, Sea Pearl and Ainsley Dickson. There is a variety that is very hard and a continuous bloomer that is available in red or pink called Bonica. I prefer one called Royal Bonica.

There is a whole series that comes from Britain called David Austin English Series. They produce beautiful flowers and are a good bet. They should be planted about four feet apart as some of the plants are fairly large.

Call me at 250-542-7399 for more information if you wish.

–– Fred Lyall is The Morning Star’s longtime gardening columnist.