Paula's Patch: A Minnesota Garden

Come wander in; my gate is always open! Gardening / Birding

Minnesota Hardy July 11, 2013

I was just telling my husband recently that I wished our shrub rose was ever-blooming or at least bloomed more than once during the season. It’s loaded with pretty smallish pink blossoms. It’s a heritage plant that I rescued from my neighbor’s yard when he passed many years ago. I hold it dear and think of him each year when it blooms.

shrub rose | paulasgardenpatch.com | paula bonelli

© PaulasGardenPatch

I’m scanning gardening publications the other day and I come across an online publication that is produced by the University of Minnesota called Minnesota Hardy.  The U of M has developed just such a shrub rose, well actually 3. These three hardy shrub roses produce constant bloom throughout the summer, need little winter preparation, and are aptly named Sven, Ole, and Lena! LOL  They are hardy in Zones 3 and 4.

The other plant I love for diversity in the garden is an ornamental grass. There are very few hardy for cold climates and even fewer that tolerate shade. Well, don’t you know, The U of M has also produced a hardy grass called Blue Heaven™ (also called Little Bluestem) which landscapers and home gardeners alike have readily embraced. It does require full sun, though.

The grassy leaves of Blue Heaven are bluish-green in color and the foliage turns a gorgeous orange in the fall. It features beautiful spikes of light green flowers rising above the foliage in late summer. The indian red seed heads are displayed from early fall right through to late winter and the brick red stems add winter interest.

For the U of M, breeding such plants goes far beyond producing a hardy plant. The process also involves evaluating disease resistance, color, taste, growth habit, and uses. The results number well over 400 proven hardy varieties! Minnesota’s drive to discover has formed the foundation for over a two-billion-dollar horticultural industry, spanning the borders from Roseau, MN grass seed growers south to Lanesboro, MN vineyards.

What is your favorite Zone-hardy shrub or plant?

Source: Univ of MN publication Minnesota Hardy

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2 Responses to “Minnesota Hardy”

  1. Love the rose names, Paula – what a hoot! A friend originally from Minn. plagues us with Ole, Lena, and Sven jokes :-) I once saw Rosa glauca, the blue leafed rose, blooming on a 4′ bush in Crested Butte, 2 miles high in the Colorado mountains – probably the hardiest rose I know of. I grow it more for the foliage than the flowers, which are pretty but fleeting. I know some of the Canadian roses are super hardy – probably bred similarly to the U of M ones – I used to grow some of them. Now I will have to look up the Minnesota Hardy roses.


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