Hello from the north!

OK, I’ll send in my membership dues this week. I’ve got the breeding bug and I love this forum. Please allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Joe Bergeson. My family has a retail nursery and greenhouse out in the country in northwestern Minnesota, Bergeson Nursery. I am able to use some of the resources of the nursery to take care of my seedlings, but unfortunately I’m very busy during the peak pollination season.

We are in Zone 3. We sell bare root roses directly to our customers, and train them to plant them deep. When the Morden Roses came out we really pushed them hard as the Canadian Roses that you didn’t have to do anything with. We sold tons of Morden Blush and Morden Centennial and started putting them in landscape designs for people. As the years have progressed, the blackspot issue has become so severe that I can no longer wholeheartedly recommend the Morden roses.

It’s a little awkward now; we’ve established a reputation for selling hardy roses, but there aren’t that many that I feel good about selling. The Bailey roses (Easy Elegance) have great disease resistance but reduced winter hardiness. So far I have found High Voltage and Sunrise Sunset to be pretty hardy, while My Girl, Super Hero, and Little Mischief seem to be prone to dying out.

Prairie Star performs fabulously, and would be a great substitute for Morden Blush. Anyone know a good wholesaler of bare root roses that would carry Prairie Star? Likewise Prairie Joy. I get most of my bare root roses from Baileys.

This rose hybridization thing, while still just a hobby for me, has developed a sense of urgency and real possibility. I need a few roses that are truly crown hardy, compact, everblooming, and disease resistant in our area. It doesn’t seem that far off. I think so many people around here would love to have more roses in their landscapes.

I hope y’all don’t mind. I’m going to post more messages in this thread with my thoughts and observations and I would be delighted to get feedback and advice.

Here is a picture of (I think) Yellow Submarine x Prairie Star that has a cool bicolor thing going on:

Growing roses in the field is a great test of their disease resistance and hardiness. When I first started planting rose seeds, I planted a lot of Winnipeg Parks open-pollinated seed. There were a lot of lovely seedlings, but they have nearly all died out in the field setting. Here is a picture of a row of Winnipeg Parks that I planted out to trial and use as seed parents.

The thing with the Morden Roses is that they have this quality of loveliness. It’s sad that they are so susceptible to disease.

I think Prairie Joy is a wonderful parent. It gets some blackspot on the lower leaves by the end of the summer, but overall is very healthy here in NW MN. It is very hardy, usually surviving at least a foot above the ground.

One of my most fruitful crosses has been PJ x Morden Sunrise. The pictured seedling varies dramatically in color and form depending on temperature. This picture was taken in the fall after the temps had cooled. In the summer the blossoms were a very light apricot-pink with yellowish centers.

Hi Joe,

Beautiful seedling! This is a great forum to kick around ideas and to get ideas. It looks like you have a great setup to make good progress on cold hardiness. Best wishes!

Jim Sproul

Hi Joe

Big hello from Australia, I agree with Jim good looking seedling there. I too plant my seedlings into open field. I find being exposed to wind and in the area where I come from, 104F temps during late spring, summer and early fall, really sorts out the weaklings, and if anything that doesn’t pull its weight gets shovelled.

Hi Joe,

Welcome to this forum and the RHA. This forum is a great place to swap ideas about most anything dealing with roses. The topic of winter hardiness always comes up as there are many that are very interested in this. Any question is always welcome and you will be surprised as to the responses you will get and from where. We have about 250 members in 14 or 15 countries so you can get a lot of differing opinions. You have some very good seedlings there - best wishes for your hybridizing this season. Keep us posted on your efforts.

John Moe

General Director, RHA


pickeringnurseries.com in Ontario wholesales Prairie Star bareroots grafted on multiflora.

Your Yel Sub x PS looks like a reinvented Peace - nice.

Thank you for your responses!

I wanted to show you a picture of the above-pictured PJ x MS cross from earlier in the summer when the temps were warmer…

Very, very lovely!

Joe, great to see a new person on this forum who strives for extremely hardy AND beautiful roses. :slight_smile:

What Finland and Minnesota have in common is a very harsh climate, that’s for sure. The Morden roses are the only repeat flowering “modern” hybrids that survive here up to the snowline. (Well, Therese Bugnet is fully cane hardy in my parent’s garden at the arctic circle.) Fortunately, unlike for you guys, black spot is so far a minor problem here. I don’t know why, but it must be due to climatic reasons. But the climate change and/or the appearence of more aggressive BS strains may change the situation for the worse any year, I’m afraid.

I, too, like Prairie Joy a lot. Nice to hear that it is a good parent for you. I might wanna try it too.

Good luck with your hybridization!


Helsinki, Finland

Welcome to the fourm, Joe. It looks like you are well on your way and that you have a couple of nice seedlings that you can potentially use in further breeding crosses.


Welcome Joe. I like your first rose a lot. I think you will find this very enjoyable.

Hi Joe

Your posting is very helpful & your PJ x MS seeding is exquisite. It hardly looks like it came out of Prairie Joy. I’m always on the lookout for hardy roses that are also healthy elsewhere, but pinks are hardly a priority. So I’m giving PJ another chance.