Jack and Eileen Falker's Rose Garden
University of Minnesota with Lake Minnewashta
University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum with Lake Minnewashta in the Back ground Knock-Out Roses in the Fore Ground

Cataclysmic is a forceful word.


Changes to the planet are perceived as taking place gradually, like stalactites, and stalagmites that form over millions of years. Tsunamis, earthquakes, tornados have a cataclysmic impact on the earth. Such is the case is my realization of the onslaught of winter this year. One day it was summer 80+ degrees, the next it was 30. A sudden reminder of cold was my glorious trip to Minnesota last week-end to speak to the Twin Cities Rose Club at their Officers Installation and Awards Dinner. I may not remember what I did yesterday due to my little ‘bimp’ on the head in the rose garden, but I remember the coldest place I have ever been on this planet. It was Minneapolis, some years ago. I thought I was going to freeze to death and I have been to Alaska and grew up on the beautiful north shore of Lake Michigan. Bringing to mind that it is time for those of us that live in climates that have the joy of a season change to think seriously about winter protection for our plants.


Rosa 'Radyod' Blushing Knock-Out Shrub Rose
Rosa ‘Radyod’ Blushing Knock-Out Shrub Rose, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The Minnesota climate is a “True Test of a Rosarian’s Mettle”


The Twin Cities Rose Club is a delightful group of serious gardeners. One must be a fairly serious gardener in a climate that can kill ‘you’ in the winter let alone a rose bush. The climate in Minnesota is the true “test of a rosarian’s mettle.” The President of the club is Norma Booty, and the Vice President is Char Turek, while John Turek is the treasurer. Dedicated to rose education they are a totally enthusiastic group. The Program Chair, Christine Poppe, and Fund Raising Chair Susan Youngdahl took me on tours of memorable Twin Cities rose gardens so I can share the wonders of them with you. They also are so very fortunate to have as one of their active members the renowned rose researcher Dr. David Zlesak. Elena Williams, Writer for the American Rose Society American Rose Magazine is also a former member of this group and was fondly mentioned to me by many members.


Dr. David Zlesak, Rose breeder of Oso Happy Series of Roses


Dr. David Zlezak, Master Rosarian
Dr. David Zlezak, Master Rosarian and Sandra Abraham

The first garden that I visited was Dr. David Zlesak’s personal test rose garden.

“Dr. Zlesak who is using hardy species roses with modern shrub roses to try and generate roses with greater disease resistance, winter hardiness and diversity of flower color. Focusing on roses that are adapted to the Northern climate, David finds it rewarding and exciting to see new seedlings develop and work towards his breeding goals. He bred the Oso Happy Series of roses released by Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. David Zlesak’s passion and enthusiasm for roses, as well as his broad range of research, has resulted in a body of work that will definitely make its mark on the world of roses today and in the future. From helping Dr. Lockhart from the University of Minnesota characterize new rose viruses, to overseeing the Northern Earth-Kind Rose Trials, to breeding his own roses and his research on controlling blackspot, Dr. Zlezak’s varied efforts are all leading to one goal: a world of disease resistant beautiful roses!” American Rose Society American Rose Annual Nov/Dec 2012


Dr. David Zlezak’s Garden

Facebook Album of Dr. Zlesak’s Garden


Jack and Eileen Falker’s Garden

Jack and Eileen Falker's Rose Garden
Jack and Eileen Falker’s Rose Garden in Edina, Winnipeg Parks back ground, salvia victoria companion planting

Facebook Album of the Falker’s Rose Garden


The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Rose Garden

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Rose Garden
University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Rose Garden


Lake Harriett Lyndale Park Rose Garden

Lyndale Park
Lyndale Park Perennial Section of the Garden

Bryant Unity Development Community Garden, Bud’s Garden

Bryant Community Garden Project
Bryant Community Garden Project

Thank-you Corona Tools

Corona Needlenose Pruners
Corona Needlenose Pruners

We also want to thank Corona Tools for sending their needlenose pruners to the Twin Cities members who attended my presentation who virtually did a Corona Tools commercial for their products speaking of steel quality construction. Everyone was grateful to receive such a useful  rose pruner. Thank-you again. For those of you who ask here is the Facebook link that you can visit and like the

Corona Tools Face Book page



‘Oui Theory’ Case Study Proven Sound


It was a twist of fate that led to me being in Minneapolis when ‘Oui Theory’ had to be implemented proving once again that the theory is sound.  Based on the cataclysmic nature of the sudden onslaught of the cold weather that caught me totally by surprise. You see I am still thinking in terms of being a Texas girl, the first freeze warning occurred while “Oui” needed to get the plants inside into the heated garage. Pity. My contribution to moving the plants inside was receiving instant messages of pictures of plants lined up in the heated garage with the message “did I forget to move any plants  inside?” Since I did a face plant into Ketchup and Mustard rolled over into that blasted Baron de Rothchild which I never liked and got my legs ripped to shreds in Pumkin Patch and my feet tangled up in Bolero I dare say my memory has slipped a gear.  Perhaps. 😉

Christine Poppe and Susan
Christine Poppe and Susan


4 thoughts on “Twin Cities Rose Gardens, Rosarians With Resiliency”

  1. Hi Susan, You covered my friends very well, I am so glad that the circle of rose friends is expanding. They took you to all the right places in the Twin Cities! Sue and Chris look cold.

    1. Elena,
      Such a delightful bunch of caring people! Everyone was so warm and welcoming and several people came up to say hi from you! Thank-you dear lady!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Susan. It was a pleasure to be able to show you a bit of our area. Please do come back when the weather is a little more summer like.

    1. Susan,
      Thank-you for being so kind and such a gracious host. It was a lovely day with you and Chris. I loved the Minneapolis gardens.
      Susan Fox

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