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Rose types for Forest Gardens?

 
Monte Cook
Posts: 36
Location: South Central MONTANA - Zone 4
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I've just inherited two older zone 2 hardy rose bushes - "Theresa Bugnet" and "Austrian Copper Rose." Are these varieties appropriate for incorporating into a developing forest garden?




 
Tim Crowhurst
Posts: 45
Location: Bedford, England: zone 8/AHS 2
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No and yes, in that order.

One of the main uses for roses (and other flowering plants) in a forest garden is to attract and encourage pollinating insects. The best flowers are those where the nectar is easy to access, so single blooms (like those on the Austrian Copper Rose) are preferable to double blooms (like those on the Theresa Bugnet) for two reasons.

Firstly, double blooms prevent insects getting to the nectar easily, and secondly petals have markings on them only visible in the ultraviolet spectrum (i.e. visible to insect, invisible to us) which act as targets or landing strips, telling the insects where to go for the nectar. The mass of petals in a double flower makes these markings confusing, so while an insect will initially be attracted by the scent it won't be able to find its way to the nectar. Some double roses do open up enough for this not to be a problem, but in general it's best to stick to single-flowered varieties.

Make sure you check the roses thoroughly for any sign of black spot, as the Austrian Copper Rose is particularly vulnerable.
 
Monte Cook
Posts: 36
Location: South Central MONTANA - Zone 4
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Thank you so much for the very informative, detailed and specific answer to my question - I really appreciate it! While permaculture is a vast and expansive subject matter with lots of interesting tributaries and a steep learning curve, it is comforting to know that us less experienced practitioners (beginner really ) are able to rely on the experience and expertise of those of you who are much further along this journey. Thanks again!
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 3662
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
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I love the copper roses. I think I would put it in there just for the joy of it.
 
Monte Cook
Posts: 36
Location: South Central MONTANA - Zone 4
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You've both made my decision easy! Now the follow-up question - should the actual placement be infill between and/or amongst my existing fruit trees (apples, pears, cherries & plums; 1-3 years old) or at the edges of what becomes my Forest Garden? Sorry to ask some basic questions, but the internet research is a bit murky, I am still waiting (hopefully tomorrow - it's a long haul from Keene, NH) for my first set of more detailed permaculture books to arrive and Peter Bane's book doesn't provide a lot of detail on the subject.
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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You might consider something like Rosa woodsii...I think that's among the rocky mt. flora. I make use of R. gymnocarpa and R. nutkana on the wet side. Quite vigorous for a PcZone3 or4 setting, And with the single annual visit for hips perhaps well placed in a less traveled area. I have a pretty healthy hedge of Nootka rose, so it'd work for that purpose as well although it spreads quite vigorously. The hybrid selections might be better in zone 1 where you have good air circulation, irrigation, fertile soil etc, and you'd be harvesting for the table, rather than the tea cabinet, and pruning for open form to reduce disease, etc... hybrid roses need a pampered abode. There are some selections of freeway rose (Rosa rugosa) that have a lovely scent in a single flower as well--no tender Nelly there either.
 
Monte Cook
Posts: 36
Location: South Central MONTANA - Zone 4
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Thanks for the suggestions - I appreciate it. I'll be back down there planting tomorrow! BTW, the books arrived and I'm going to try and plow through Herr Holzer's book tonight - or at least as much of it as I can handle!
 
mike mclellan
Posts: 93
Location: Helena, MT zone 4
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Have you considered Rosa rugosa? I'm trying it here in the Helena Valley at the edges of an existing "forest grove" of 45 year old mixed spruce, Russian olive, crabapple, pine and juniper. They are just now leafing out but they should be able to handle Montana climate, are single blooms and produce edible hips.

I personally would plant on the margins of your grove. I have a few small patches of Rosa woodsii ( I think) in the shadier portions of this grove and they are not thriving, no hip production the first couple years I've lived here. My impression is that they need at least half day sun. Good luck.
 
Greta Fields
Posts: 218
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I have two Meideland roses, which I think are Rugosa type. I think they come from New England. The hips are huge and taste good and provide vitamin C. You can make jelly out of them, of course. Mine got 40 feet long and blocked my front door entrance!!! I cut it back and moved SOME to a road. iT NEEDS FULL SUNSHINE HERE.
 
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