A long, cool spring–such as we had this year–requires extra patience in assessing which plants didn’t survive the winter. By mid-May, it was clear my Anemone japonica were doomed. While I adore anemone foliage, I particularly love the single-petaled flowers that offer such a useful visual contrast to other flower forms. After much consideration of possible replacements, I opted for a similar flower form by selecting the Canadian Parkland rose, ‘Morden Snowbeauty’. My healthy, own-root rose arrived in first-class condition from Northland Rosarium and was immediately planted with a fresh bag of compost and some bonemeal to improve the soil.
The flowers of the new, low-growing rose are similar to Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’, as is the plant height. As partial compensation for the anemone’s excellent foliage, ‘Snowbeauty’ is moderately fragrant, remontant, and is cold hardy to Zone 2. This rose is also supposed to be highly resistant to blackspot–a major plus during our frequently humid summers.
As an aside, I’ve seen this rose referred to as ‘Morden Snowbeauty’ and ‘Morden Snow Beauty’. Since the plant is registered with the U.S. Patent Office as one word, Snowbeauty, rather than two words, Snow Beauty, I’m using the Patent Office terminology.
Successful plant growth is mostly dependent on two factors: 1) selecting healthy, disease-free stock, and 2) selecting the most appropriate location for the plant’s needs. When purchasing or ordering a rose, selecting an own-root rose makes all the difference–not only in obtaining virus-free stock, but in improving performance in our hardiness zones. Own-root roses purchased by mail begin small, but by the second or third year (depending on the variety) they easily catch up to roses grafted onto unrelated rootstock.
Such is the hardiness of my new ‘Morden Snowbeauty’ that it has already produced a flower in its first month in the ground. However, as is the case with all flowering plants, producing flowers consumes a lot of energy. So I wasn’t totally surprised to see that my new rose was suffering from a nutrient deficiency after flowering. In Part II of A New Rose, I’ll discuss how to distinguish nutritional issues from viruses and what you can do to provide relief to the plant.