Rose Petal News – December 2020

Seasons Greetings to all fellow Rosarians

 I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that 2020 has been quite a year for all of us.
Little did we know in March that we would be going so long without seeing each other in person,
just sending wishes of safety to each other online.
In preparing to write this, I was reading over the newsletter from last Christmas, and I was happy
to see that the roses were still budding til the first snowfall last year as well – a friendly reminder
that nature provides us with a little bit of normal in an otherwise very unusual year. Remembering
that the roses are so consistent helps us to accept that, even though we had to postpone all our plans
and meetings for the year, the beauty of our roses will continue, and we will still have much to talk about when we can meet in person again. We do hope that in 2021 we will be able to properly celebrate the 40+1 year anniversary of the Huronia Rose Society.
The positive that has come out of all this is that we have all learned to “think outside of the box”. We had a distanced garden visit at Michelle Lynch’s, and we’ve been sharing our garden beauty on our Facebook page. For many of us, all of this online technology was completely unfamiliar before now, but the Executive had a successful Zoom meeting, and we will continue to meet in this way over the coming year. We are planning on having our general meetings by Zoom and will be able to include our speakers in this format this as well. There will be more information on what this will look like in the Spring Newsletter, so please do remember to renew your memberships for next year so that you continue joining the conversation and learning about rose care with us.

I would like to say thank you to Lynne Melnyk for taking on the role of producing our newsletter, since Janice and her husband, Tim, have moved down East. Needless to say, Janice is very busy as well as now President of the Canadian Rose Society, so we are very grateful to Lynne for stepping up with her skills for this project.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, even with smaller gathering sizes, and hoping you stay safe and stay well so that we can all get together again soon.
Take care,
Virginia Foster

Greetings from the Canadian Rose Society

The year 2020 is a year to forget, but it will not be forgotten. We have learned to live in a different world and to focus on what is important, like family and friends. As the new year approaches, we must remain positive and continue to work together and not let Covid totally control our lives.
The CRS had its first AGM in years, this year. Zoom enabled us to conduct the meeting with close to forty members in attendance from across Canada. Everyone was happy to see each other and to take a few minutes to socialize. Highlights of the meeting included the introduction of our new mission and vision statements:
New Mission Statement – Sharing the love and appreciation of the rose, throughout Canada, by promoting friendship and education.
New Vision Statement – By education in various forms we encourage rose growing in both private and public gardens.
 After the business portion of the meeting we were treated to an informative and interesting presentation on the new rose garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, by Elizabeth Schleicher.
A strategic planning meeting is scheduled in November to clearly define our direction for the future. None of this would be possible without the dedication and determination of the members and executive working together to make the CRS a society to be proud of.
 We are planning an exciting series of educational seminars next year with the possibility of a rose show, which will include specimen roses and a design class. If you have some time and would like to be involved with our society, please contact me at
Meanwhile, stay safe, remain positive and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas with family and friends.

Janice Schmidt
Past President of Huronia Rose Society and current President of the Canadian Rose Society

Janice has been a leading force for our society for many years, serving as president, Rose Show chair, newsletter editor, chair of Photographic competition as well as actively involved in almost all aspects of our organization.
 We wanted to  honour her with a gift from our group before she moved with her husband Tim to beautiful Nova Scotia.  A lifetime Membership to the Huronia Rose Society and a gift certificate to a garden centre near her new home in Nova Scotia was presented at an HRS get together at Ednas’ home – outside in the garden with Covid protocols in place on a lovely warm July day. 
Janice has taken on the role as chair of the re-vamped/ re-born  Canadian Rose Society, a huge role.

Programs for 2021

We are very fortunate that all our presenters of programs that we planned  for 2020, have agreed to give those same programs to us in 2021 via Zoom.  So even if we cannot meet in person, we will be able to have our meetings by the internet. For those of our members who don’t use the internet, perhaps there is a family member that can help you watch these very interesting speakers.  
Tues. April 20 – Topic “All the Rose Questions You Were Afraid to Ask” A panel of our members will have the answers to your questions that you will send in in advance. Photos of the rose bushes we have for sale will be shown at that time, too.
Tues. June 15 – Topic “Earth-Kind Gardens at Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington”, presented by Mr. Alex Henderson of RBG.
Tues. July 7 – is planned for a virtual Rose Show. More details to come from the Rose Show committee .
Tues. Sept. 15 – Topic “For Love of a Rose” presented by Dr. Joseph Shorthouse
The annual Garden Visit is planned for the summer, date to be decided and announced later.
Many more details about each evenings’ programs will follow in future newsletters as well as directions on how to join us via Zoom.


We are very proud to announce that  Wilhelmina  Vanderpost  ( Willy) of Thornton has entered  the Hall of Fame 2020 for South Simcoe.  Willy is a long standing member of the Rose Society and we have visited her house for the Annual Garden Tour. 

She received this  award on November 26th by way of a virtual event.  She is one of 5 people to receive this award which celebrates  remarkable people who have  dedicated their time, on a volunteer basis, to the benefit of the community. 

To learn more of Willy’s story, this can be seen the Alliston Herald, Nov.19th 2020

 Photographic Contest Reminder

Please deliver or mail photos to E. Teras at 3374 Mason Drive, Innisfil, ON  L9S 2J8 by December 20th.  Refer to the Fall 2020 newsletter for rules and classes.


By Michelle Lynch

  Rosa rugosa (rugosa rose, beach rose, Japanese rose, Ramanas rose, or letchberry) is a species of rose native to eastern Asia, in northeastern China, Japan, Korea and southeastern Siberia, where it grows on beach coasts, often on sand dunes. It should not be confused with Rosa multiflora, which is also known as “Japanese rose”. 

The Latin word “rugosa” means “wrinkled”, referring to the wrinkled leaves.

CultureBest grown in moist, slightly acidic, well-drained garden loam in full sun to part shade, this rose is also very adaptable to somewhat poor soils, including sandy, clay or gravelly ones. Best flowering and disease resistance generally occur in full sun. Water deeply and regularly (mornings are best). Avoid overhead watering. Excellent drainage is one of the keys to growing this shrub well. Avoid wet soils. Good air circulation promotes vigorous and healthy growth and helps control foliar diseases. Summer mulch helps retain moisture, keeps roots cool and discourages weeds. Remove spent flowers to encourage re-blooming (flower removal does prevent hip growth). Remove and destroy diseased leaves from plants, as practicable, and clean up and destroy dead leaves from the ground around the plants both during the growing season and as part of a thorough cleanup during winter (dormant season). Prune as needed in late winter to early spring. This rose is winter hardy where temperatures can dip to -50 degrees F. in winter. It grows exceedingly well in sand and has over time naturalized in dry sandy/gravelly coastal plains, sandy beaches and sand dune habitats (giving rise to additional common names of beach rose and salt spray rose).  It is very tolerant of salt spray. Seeds are spread not only by birds and animals, but also in coastal areas by seawater.

Noteworthy Characteristics
It is a bristly, prickly, sprawling, suckering shrub rose that typically grows in a rounded form to 4-6′ tall and as wide. Unless restrained, it will over time spread by suckers to form dense thickets. 

Odd-pinnate dark green leaves (each with 5-9 leaflets) turn yellow (sometimes a quality orange-red) in fall. Each leaflet (to 2″ long) has pronounced veins, a wrinkled appearance, serrated edges and downy undersides. 

Fragrant flowers are rose pink to white (to 3 1/4″ across). Flowers are primarily single (5 petals), but are semi-double or double in some varieties and hybrid cultivars. Flowers appear singly or in clusters. Flowers
primarily bloom from late May to July, with some additional scattered bloom to early fall.  The flowers are very attractive to pollinator insects.

Flowers are followed by fleshy, edible (with some bitterness), tomato-shaped hips (to 1″ diameter) which appear green but ripen to bright red by late summer and persist on the shrub until late fall sometimes extending into winter. Hips are used to make jams and jellies (rose hip jam). Deadheading spent flowers may encourage re-blooming, but at the cost of preventing rose hip development. 

Stems are covered with abundant sharp thorns, making this an excellent impenetrable hedge. Ability to thrive in sandy seashore habitats combined with tomato-shaped hips led to the additional common names of beach tomato and sea tomato for this shrub. Because of its tolerance for salt and sand, this rose has been planted along ocean shores to help stabilize beaches/control beach erosion. Many varieties and hybrid cultivars (single to double flowers in colors of pink, purple or white) have been developed.

Rose Hips – The Rugosa rose is one of the best roses for producing hips for herbal medicine.  The hips are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants and flavinoids. Flowers and hips are edible, while the leaves are medicinal. 

Harvest the rose hips after a frost, when they are sweeter and have more antioxidants and a brighter colour. Some Rugosa hips are orange and some get cherry red, so the colour is not necessarily an indication of readiness for harvest.


Rosehips are one of the most concentrated forms of vitamin C in the world. They are an excellent tonic for the immune system and can be eaten throughout the winter months in compotes, jams, fruit leathers, and vinegars. 

A blood-building tonic, rosehips can support those who experience symptoms of blood deficiency, including fatigue, a pale complexion, numbness or tingling in the limbs, dizziness, scanty menses, and dry or lusterless skin and hair. The hips can be made into a delicious stand-alone syrup, or combined with other blood-building herbs such as schisandra berries (Schisandra chinensis), nettle leaves (Urtica dioica), and yellow dock roots (Rumex crispus).

If you’d also like to gather rosehips, leave a generous quantity of flowers on the bush to mature into fruit. Rosehips are best frost-ripened, and are traditionally gathered throughout the fall and early winter months. Look for hips that are shining and red, and be sure to leave plenty for the birds. Most rosehips contain irritating hairs inside that surround the seeds. You’ll want to split the hips to scrape out the hairs and seed capsules. Often, it’s helpful to run fresh, ripe hips through a food mill or sieve to separate out these parts.

Please only gather flowers and hips from organic rose bushes or those that are growing wild in clean places, as roses are one of the most heavily sprayed plants. Along these lines, absolutely avoid using bouquet roses from florists as food or medicine.


Edna Caldwell

2021 is the 21st anniversary of the establishment of the Rose Garden and the 22nd year that it has been flourishing. Thank you to all our volunteers who helped in the pruning in spring, the deadheading all through the summer and to Charlotte who has shared as co-chair of the Garden.
The inground watering system was a big bonus this past hot summer. We have some plans to replace three roses that aren’t thriving, move a few around and plant two or three new ones, so that we will be showing some of the latest Canadian introductions for the public to see and perhaps want to buy for themselves. A Jackmani clematis was planted by the obelisk this fall, as well.
Every time we are there working in the blooming season, the passing public always shares how much pleasure they receive from the roses as they go by. 



As 2020 comes to an end it is time to think about renewing your HRS membership for 2021.  We will be going high-tech in 2021 to bring you our meetings on Zoom and our rose sale on-line.  By renewing your HRS membership you can enjoy our rose society meetings from the comfort of your own home and plan your spring gardening with a new rose addition or two.  This will definitely make winter more enjoyable.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.