The rose is considered by many to be queen of the flower garden, but for northern gardeners especially, she also has a reputation as a demanding diva. The newly revised and updated edition of Growing Roses in Cold Climates by Richard Hass, Jerry Olsen, and John Whitman ((University of Minnesota Press, 2012, $34.95) will help to change that view. Written by a trio of long-time Minnesota rose growers, this book provides information on 875 varieties of roses that are suited to climates where the winter temperatures dip to -20 degrees F or lower (Zones 5 and colder on the USDA Hardiness Zone Map).
Covering all types of roses from hybrid teas and floribundas to climbers and shrub roses, the authors provide information on planting, care, sources, and likely insect and disease problems. In addition, there is a listing of cultivars rated according to a five-star system based on factors such as vigor, hardiness, and number of blooms per season that makes it easy to select the best.
An expansive section on the basics of rose growing covers all aspects of rose culture in depth, including new methods for protecting roses in the winter, propagating by a variety of methods, and information on both organic and chemical solutions to common rose problems. Ample photographs of both the roses themselves and step-by-step techniques enhance the text.
So if you've shied away from growing roses because you thought it was too hard to care for them and get them through the winter reliably, check out this great resource. Then invite the Queen into your garden!
For more information on Growing Roses in Cold Climates, as well as other books in the Growing in Cold Climate series, go to: University of Minnesota Press.