The Best Hardy roses

Choosing the Best Hardy Shrub Roses for Your Northern Landscape
(Updated January 2008)

Terry L. Yockey

My new favorite shrub roses are the Easy Elegance Rose Collection from Baileys in Newport, MN.



Ping Lim, an internationally recognized rose hybridizer, crossed over 25,000 plants to come up with roses that are hardy, disease resistant, and best of all bloom all season long.  All of the roses are also grown on their own roots which is a definite plus in our colder climes.  In fact, Baileys is so sure that they will thrive in your northern yard or garden that they even offer a two year guarantee!

I have tried several varieties of the new Easy Elegance roses and never lost one yet including the roses that Baileys describes as hardy only to zone 5.  However, I do cover them with mulch in the winter which definitely  helps. 

Even the hardiest Easy Elegance roses usually die back to the crown every winter without mulch. They will send out new canes in the spring, but since I already have cages around all my roses to protect them from rabbits [look closely at the photo and you can see the cages], it's easy to just dump some chopped leaves or straw inside each cage after the ground freezes.

Baileys will be releasing new varieties of Easy Elegance roses every year, but here are my favorites so far:

  1. Sunrise Sunset Rose:  Deep-green semi-glossy foliage. A very prolific bloomer, the 2.5 in. blossoms are a bright fuchsia pink with an apricot center. It reaches about 2.5 ft. tall by 2.5 ft. wide in my gardens.
  2. Little Mischief Rose:  Clusters of deep pink 1" semi double blossoms with a bright white eye.  Smaller than Sunrise Sunset it is perfect for the front of the border.
  3. All the Rage Rose:  Large 3.5 inch semi-double apricot-blend flowers all summer long on a 2.5 to 3 ft. high by 2.5 ft. wide plant.  Remove spent blossoms to promote repeat bloom.
  4. Great Wall Rose:  Attractive foliage that emerges red and gradually turns dark green.  Neon pink semi-double 3.5 inch blossoms on a taller plant with canes reaching about 3 or 4 ft. tall.  Good plant for a short hedge.

You can find Bailey's Easy Elegance Roses online at

Regional (Twin Cities) nurseries that specialize in shrub roses:

Sam Kedem Nursery, Hastings, MN (651) 437-7516

Spring Valley Roses, Spring Valley, WI (715) 778-4481