Paul Olsen put together the 2008 issue of The Prairie Garden on hardy roses!!!

This looks fabulous Paul. I am excited to order a copy. I’m especially excited about the information in it about some of the early breeding and development of hardy roses in Canada. Thanks for putting this together.





Thanks for mentioning about The Prairie Garden 2008 edition that I was the guest editor for. It’s an annual publication the Winnipeg, Manitoba Horticulture Society puts out every year. If I may say so, the content is very comprehensive and is the most up-to-date reference for rose growers in cold (Zone 2 - 3) climates. However, there are a few editing glitches that were be- yond my control I’m unhappy about.

The yellow rose on the cover is ‘Hazeldean’ and the photo was taken in Saskatoon, Saskat- chewan. Percy Wright, who developed this cultivar, also lived in Saskatoon. There is an ex- cellent article on Mr. Wright in the publication by Sara Williams, who also lives in that city. It’s a biographical sketch and not about the roses he developed. By the way, 2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the development of ‘Hazeldean’, the cold hardiest (Zone 1) yellow cultivar.

Congratulations! It’s wonderful to have this information written down where people present and future can find and use it, and no doubt they will use it well. In some ways, this is much more valuable than the roses themselves.

It’s too bad that even 60 years after its creation, ‘Hazeldean’ still hasn’t been picked up by any commercial source, not even Pickering, that could distribute it widely (even for a short time). It would be terribly unfortunate for such a potentially valuable cultivar to become further endangered by its sheer rarity, but it is not alone - many fine, older Canadian cultivars are in similar jeopardy or have disappeared altogether. This is bound to have at least some chilling effect on further cold-climate breeding efforts there and abroad.


Yes, as you say “many fine, older Canadian cultivars are in similar jeapardy or have disappeared altogether.” This is a problem I recognized several years ago, and I have put a lot of effort into getting rare Canadian cold hardy cultivars established at the Devonian Botanic Garden located near Edmonton, Alberta. I’ve also began getting them established at other public rose gardens on the Prairies to provide more insurance they won’t get lost.

The next step is to get rare, high quality Canadian developed roses into the nursery trade. ‘Hazeldean’, yes, should be one of them. However, this can be problematic. For example, last fall I offered Pickering Nursery plants of ‘Red Dawn’ and ‘Dr. F. L. Skinner’. I received no response from them, so I sent them to Hortico. My intention is to try Pickering Nursery again, but I will also continue to send rose cultivars to Hortico. One cultivar definitely on my list to send is ‘Eddie’s Crimson’. I have several small plants of it I propagated from the only shrubs I know of located at the Agriculture Canada Research Station, Summerland, B.C.

By the way, I sent several suckers of ‘Hazeldean’ to David,so perhaps he can distribute some of them within a year or two.

Paul, I really appreciate your efforts to distribute the Canadian material around - I see how difficult it must be, if Pickering is closing itself off to the possibility. I wish that Hortico were a reliable nursery; several years ago when I ordered ‘Dr. F.L. Skinner’ from them, I ended up with a ‘Martin Frobisher’, and after later personal dealings and a multitude of reports from other gardeners I frankly feel lucky to have received any rose at all.

Botanical gardens are certainly a key part of an overall cultivar conservation plan, but I’ve also come to realize that due to extremely restrictive distribution policies and unreliable expertise in caring for certain groups of plants, they all too often become cultivar museums and then graveyards. It’s frustrating for me to think about, so I can’t imagine how you must feel. If only roses had some nationalized germplasm repository analogous to many food crops.

I look forward to the plants being passed around in the U.S. as well, even without nurseries being involved if necessary - but I do hope that one day, at least one nursery that is willing to ship across borders will pick these up and maintain them long enough to meaningfully spread the plants around to reach some sort of critical mass.

Paul, if you don’t mind me asking…how on earth did you manage to send “several suckers” across the U.S border to David?

Can we circumvent the phyto-sanitary fees, laws, restrictions, and certificate requirements that pose such barriers for anyone trying to trade or ship seeds, horicultural material or plant tissue across the border?? I had seeds intercepted at the border from people trying to send me stuff from the U.S, and vice versa. It’s such a pain :frowning:

However did you manage it?

Thankfully, we can send plant material to friends anywhere in Canada. If you have suckers to spare of Hazeldean, by all means, I’d LOVE to have a piece of this rose, and would make efforts to exchange for something in return.



Shipping rose material to David, I did it the official way by obtaining a phytosanitary certificate. Then I sent it by courier (Purolator in Canada/DHL in the States), which was a joke because it took two weeks to get to St. Paul, Minnesota from Edmonton, Alberta. Then it sat in St. Paul for a few days. How the rose material survived is beyond me but according to David most of it did.

Frankly, in the future if I’m sending rose material to the States I’m going to send rooted cut- tings by mail. Mark the package “Botanical Specimen” and take my chances. A friend of mine sends plants to the States and marks the package “Wedding Gift”. He has never failed to get the package across the border.

I can easily send you a sucker or two of ‘Hazeldean’ in the spring.

Paul, If you have a sucker or 2 of ‘Hazeldean’ left after you have sent them off to Dee, I too would love to have one.


The Pickering people can be irritating. When they were briefly offering Dr. Merkeley, I left them a note to say that it was not spinossissima, according to Canadian sources. The young Mr. Shraven told me in no uncertain terms that they go by Beales. (Canadian sources be damned)

Paul I do hope you keep trying. When they confirm my order, I have a mind to mention that I’m really hankering for the hardy Canadian roses they turned down.

lol, I love Pickerings prodcuts, but once I ordered from them over the phone and I asked, “Do you take future suggestions on varieties?” To which I heard an echnoing, “No,” in a degrading tone. I was like, “Well then! bye.” I was gonna suggest more of the Fryer’s HTs since they carry Fryer’s stuff a lot for US/CAN.