A new rose called "Canadian Shield', in honour of Canada's 150th birthday is proving extremely popular with gardeners because it is bred with the northern climate in mind.
Cheryl Lennox, Director of Marketing for Vineland Research and Innovation Centre told BayToday that the rose is winter-resistant to minus 40 and also resistant to black spot. She confirms it is perfect for the North Bay area.
Lennox, who has family in North Bay and Redbridge, is hosting a display at Canada Blooms in Toronto this week. Canada Blooms is Canada’s largest flower and garden festival.
"It's a brand new launch this year," says Lennox. "There are 50,000 available in time for Canada Day, but that's probably not enough," she smiled as she showed off a plant to a visitor.
The rose plants are available across Canada, at Loblaws and Costco and boutique nurseries, but some retailers are already sold out.
The Canadian Shield rose is described as a "versatile garden and landscape rose with a more than one-metre spread, plenty of full, red flowers and glossy green foliage. It’s a repeat bloomer that stays stunning throughout the entire garden season."
It's been named "Flower of the Year" and is the first rose in a curated collection to be released in the coming years known as Vineland’s 49th Parallel Collection.
"There will be a series of roses come out over the coming years that are perfect for Canadian gardeners. We also want to go into the colder areas of the U.S. and Europe eventually because so many people love roses but can't grow them because of where they live. The next one comes out in 2019 called "Chinook Sunrise" so the whole collection is designed to celebrate the beauty of our Country."
More than 20 Canadian nurseries are licensed to propagate and grow the 50,000 Canadian Shield roses for home gardeners and landscapers to plant in time for Canada Day 2017.
And the reaction from gardeners so far?
"It's been super positive. It's been wonderful. It's exceeded expectations."
This year Canada Blooms is taking place at the Enercare Centre in Toronto until Sunday March 19.