No longer buried under a four foot pile of snow, our `Frau Dagmar Hastrup' rugosa rose, at right, is usually at peak bloom right about the first week or so in June!
Also known as `Fru Dagmar Hastrup,' `Fru Dagmar Hartopp,' and `Frau Dagmar Hartopp,' this four to five foot-tall and wide plant is covered by lightly fragrant, single-petaled flowers through much of the month of June, below left. It then continues to flower sporadically through the first frosts of autumn.
Many of the spent flowers give way to large, orange-red fruit (hips) that are effective for a week or so throughout the season.
Then, in the fall, the shiny leaves turn bright, golden-yellow edged in red, below left. They're effective for the better part of two weeks before dropping from the plant in mid- to late October.
So, now that we all know that this rose is beautiful from spring through fall, let me explain how rugged it is, too!
I've seen it thriving, for example, in an exposed location at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum where winter temperatures routinely drop to more than -30°F. I also routinely specify it in landscape designs where it's likely to be run down by snowplows and heavily salted all winter, then baked by heat reflected off tarvia all summer, below right!
And, not only is this rose tolerant of physical and environmental abuse, its thick, wrinkled leaves are both disease-resistant and very tolerant of Japanese beetles damage!
Should it get a little too big for the space in which it's planted, simply cut it back to a point six to eight inches from the ground in March or April. Just remember to wear thick leather gloves as the stems do host more than a few sharp thorns, below left!
Finally, for as great a shrub as it is, you're not likely to walk into your favorite garden center and see it there waiting for you. Most gardeners, it seems, would much rather fuss and fret over the ever-popular hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora roses that they've got to spray, water and winterize year, after year, after year!
However, most local garden centers are more than willing to order in special plants for special people. And, if you're not able to charm them, just send me an email or call, and I'll direct you to one of the many online rose growers that offer this highly recommended plant!