Cold Climate Roses

– Posted in: Recommended Links, Wishlist

Thanks to Kent Swanson of Organic Rose Gardening, I discovered a whole site devoted to the rose hybridizing work of Griffith Buck. Dr. Buck developed roses that were pretty hardy (definitely to Zone 5, and often to Zone 4) and disease resistant. I thought he bred them for fragrance, as well, but I wasn’t sure about that. So I googled and discovered the Sam Kedem Nursery in Minnesota. I’ve had my eye on ‘Country Dancer‘ ever since White Flower Farm featured a very glamorous photo of it in their catalog (they no longer carry it) but now that I’ve seen ‘Chorale,’ I feel myself wavering. Of course, we all know the perfect solution to this dilemma: get both! (And I found out that while many Griffith Buck roses are fragrant, not all are.)

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

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Kathy Thatte March 17, 2005, 5:10 pm

Dr. Buck was one of my professors at Iowa State many long years ago. He was trying to breed roses for disease resistance and attractive plant habit, as well as cold hardiness. He always said he thought modern hybrid rose plants (stems and leaves, not flowers) were very ugly, and he’d like to change that. Another piece of wisdom from him was that all roses are marketable as long as they are red 🙂

Laurie Gano March 13, 2005, 9:05 pm

Have you checked out the High Country Roses website? It has 9 pages of hardy roses grown in Utah. What I like especially is their system of rating rebloom and fragrance at the end of each detailed description (not to mention zone) That way, you can glance at the end to see if you’re interested. I haven’t actually ordered anything yet, but it sure looks good. The address is

Ro March 11, 2005, 9:31 pm

Did you look at Pickering and Hortico?

The Buck Rose I always wanted was “Disant Drums”. I selected all my Roses for scent and height, but now my my taste in colors has changed. They are being brutalized by rose slugs.

I have an article I cut out on Buck Roses from 5 years ago if you are interested.

Kathy March 6, 2005, 8:39 am

That’s exactly why I started this website, John, to help people find what they need to grow in a cold climate. Glad I could help you.

John March 6, 2005, 12:55 am

Thanks for reminding me of Dr. Buck’s roses. I did some surfing on it last year and found some info. Think I got started from the Northern Gardener mag from Minn Hort Society. Seems that but for a few folks including family many would have been lost.

The link to the Kedem Nursery is great. Very few Buck’s have shown up in local nurseries in southcentral Wis. I want to give a few a try and the list of Rugosas is nice too.

Thanks for your feed & blog, John