One Tough Rose

We’re visiting the New York garden to weed, tie up the tomatoes, harvest the garlic … and get majorly appalled by the Japanese beetles. What a year! They’re everywhere, and they’re especially everywhere on the contorted hazel and hollyhocks and raspberries and of course roses but NOT on Jens Munk,

jens munk rose

once again proving itself to be as trouble free as roses get.

Jens Munk is a hybrid rugosa, one of the super-hardy  Explorer roses bred by the Canadian Department of Agriculture and named for early visitors like captain Munk (1579-1628), a Dane who was – big surprise – looking for the Northwest Passage.

It seems unlikely that he was pink or fragrant, but he was undoubtedly disease-resistant; almost all of his crew members perished from things like scurvey. He might very well have been wrinkled (rugose) and it isn’t much of a stretch to suppose he was very thorny. 

thorns on stems of jens munk rose

He used to live in our rose garden, but passing near was so hazardous we moved him to the edge of the woods. There isn’t enough sun for the good rebloom we enjoyed before, but he still puts on a big spring show and ornaments the summer with dots of blossom. 

Happily, he doesn’t need much pruning; the natural shape is upright and bushy. And perhaps it’s only appropriate that he doesn’t have pretty hips.  

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