Nothing says winter-hardy like a Canadian-bred rosebush, and this one’s intriguing. Developed a few years ago, ‘Campfire’ rose was introduced as a member of the Canadian Artists rose series, joining Felix Leclerc, Emily Carr, Bill Reid, and Oscar Peterson roses.
When I first heard of Campfire rose, I wondered why it would be included in the artist series, which logically named roses after famous Canadian artists. Then I learned that ‘Campfire’ is the name of a very famous Canadian artwork, painted by Thomas Thomson in 1916. ‘Campfire’ rose echoes the yellows and reds of the famous painting.
Here’s what makes Campfire rose well-worth planting:
- It was tested all across Canada, and is rated as winter-hardy in zone 3.
- Plant shape is listed as rounded, with a height of 3 feet and a width of 3 feet. (Our 2-year-old Campfire rose is more squat-round than upright-round. Perhaps with age it will become taller, and less ground-spreading.)
- Foliage is glossy-green with good disease resistance.
- Blossom are well-loaded with 20 petals.
- Flowers begin as shapely buds, opening to a well-filled center which eventually opens flatter.
- Flower color is continually changing. Buds begin yellow with red-tinted edges. Flowers open yellow, tinged with rosy pink. Some flowers are more yellow. At any given time, the rosebush is covered with a variety of colors, truly looking campfire-like.
- Campfire rose blooms continuously beginning in June through fall frost.
- Best bet for buying a Campfire rose is locally owned garden centers. I’ve rarely, if ever, seen this at a national chain.
We planted Campfire a year ago, and it wintered fine with no protective measures in a fairly open site. A few branches suffered typical dieback, but it rebounded fine from the base. In its second season, it’s blooming well, and the flower color mix is outstanding. In time I’d like to see it grow taller and flower size to increase. Perhaps regular fertilizing will accomplish both.