Making Calgary a Little Rosier....

The Calgary Homeless Foundation and Greengate Garden Centres have partnered to help make Calgary a little rosier. Greengate has generously offered to donate the proceeds from the sale of the Hope for Humanity rose to the Calgary Homeless Foundation - a unique new way to help the homeless and to take time to smell the roses!

The Calgary Rose Society is pleased to announce its support for the Calgary Homeless Foundation in their campaign - we are the Official Hope for Humanity Planting and Growing Advisors!

Information on planting and growing the Hope for Humanity roses, the Calgary Homeless Foundation and Greengate Garden Centres is provided below.

Hope for Humanity:

Photo courtesy of Minister of Public Works and Government Services 2000
Hope for Humanity

Hope for Humanity is a low growing ever-blooming hardy rose. Plants average 0.5 m in height and 0.6 m in width. Cane strength is good. The beautiful double blood red flowers are produced over a 10 - 14 week period, starting in late June from over-wintered buds and continuing on the current season's growth.

Flower buds are pointed and a deep wine red colour. The number of flowers per inflorescence varies from 2 to 15, with most having 4 to 5. Flowers are double, cup shaped and average 8.0 cm in diameter. There are small white spots at the base of the inner side of the petal, and a white and yellow spot at the base of the outer side of the petal. Flowers are slightly fragrant.

Disease resistance is good for powdery mildew and rust, and fair to good for blackspot. Plants have consistently survived in zone 3a with no additional protection.

Hope for Humanity was released in 1995 as part of the Parkland Series of roses bred at the Morden Research Centre. Established in 1915, the Centre has become the major centre for both crop and ornamental plant breeding for western Canada. In the 1940's, they released a number of hardy non-repeat blooming roses as part of the "Prairie" series. The Morden rose breeding program really came into its own under the direction of Dr. Henry Marshall, who introduced the present "Parkland" series with 'Assiniboine' in 1962.

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Planting, Growing and Care:

You've just purchased a Hope for Humanity - here's what to do with it:

Selecting a Rose Bed Site: The Hope for Humanity rose needs a site with about 6 hours of direct sunlight, away from the roots of large trees and roof overhangs. With less sun, the plants will be spindly and will not bloom. In general, morning sun is better for roses than evening sun as the blooms will not fade as readily. Tree roots will compete with the roses for water (and win).

Soil Amendment: Make sure that you amend the soil in your rose beds! Roses like well-drained, organic-rich, acidic soil. So, add spagnum peat moss, well-decomposed compost or manure and amendments like vermiculite, perlite and/or well sorted coarse quartz sand to your rose beds before planting. Remember that in Calgary, adding peat moss is pretty much a must!

Planting New Roses: Plant your new Hope for Humanity once the ground has completely thawed and there is no risk of below-freezing temperatures (usually in May). If you've purchased your rose before planting is possible, allow the plant to harden off by putting it outside during the day and inside (in the garage or the house) at night. Do NOT fertilize newly planted roses until after their first bloom.

Summer Care: Fertilize your newly planted Hope for Humanity after its first bloom. Once the blooms are spent (rose petals falling off), remove the dead flower heads. This will prevent rose hips from forming and encourage your Hope to keep blooming. Water well - roses do not like dry soil! After early August, stop fertilizing and deadheading as this will allow your rose to relax for the coming winter.

Winter Care: This is a rose that will survive zone 3a winters so we don't need to do add winter protection in Calgary. Sit back, sip your hot chocolate and dream of spring!

Spring Care: In spring, once the canes begin to show signs of growth (new leaves), prune the winter kill from the tips of the branches - these will be the brown parts. You can fertilize an established rose right away. Add more mature compost or peat moss to the soil if necessary.

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Calgary Homeless Foundation:

Many agencies in Calgary are dedicated to addressing the problems of homelessness through the provision of housing and programs. In fact, the vision of the Calgary Homeless Foundation is that "All Calgarians will have access to housing where they feel safe and secure." Using a partnership model, the Foundation provides capital funding for housing projects and has committed itself to providing the vehicle for community consultation on homelessness issues and community collaboration on solutions. The Foundation will be able to leverage the donation from the Hope for Humanity roses to support more projects. We have also made a commitment to supply a Hope for Humanity rose to each of the projects that we work with.

To open a link to the Calgary Homeless Foundation page, click here.

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Greengate Garden Centre:

Check out their website at

Click here to order

14111 Macleod Trail South
Calgary, Aberta
Phone (403) 256 1212
Fax (403) 256 4420

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