We have been growing Roses in Maine for almost fifty years.
Own Root Roses are our speciality.
Growing roses in a cold climate can be difficult so we specialize in own root roses. Our Roses here at Old Sheep Meadows Nursery have been selected for their winter hardiness, vigor, fragrance, and suitable for a northern Maine garden. We have over 500 roses growing in the ground even in our harsh climate they thrive. There are no empty arbors at Old Sheep Meadows Nursery in Alfred.
When we came to Maine over 50 years ago all the roses were grafted. This means that the top (leaves and flowers) were one plant and the roots were another joined together at the graft. These roses do well in warm climate gardens but are less winter hardy than roses growing on their own roots. The 1st year we planted 12 roses and they all died. So we started to grow old roses and roses on their own roots. These survivors are the roses that we offer for sale.
There are four types of roses that are well worth growing in our northern climate, they are always on their own roots:
- (1) Canadian Bred shrub and climbing roses,
- (2) Old fashioned shrub roses including old garden roses and historic roses
- (3) English roses
- (4) Hardy modern and shrub roses.
Our hardy Canadian bred shrub & climbing roses survive with little or no dieback. They are truly winter proof. The flower buds on these will begin to open in late June..
The old garden roses that have been in our garden from the beginning are fine. These roses have stood the test of time. Their flower buds will open mid June. Many of the old garden roses have been grown for 100's of years.
The last two groups, the Hardy Modern & Shrub Roses and the English Roses are the most tender of our roses.
But where we protected them with a deep mound of top soil and peat moss and lots of pine needles there was some top kill but we have no loss.
We removed any dead wood in early May. The Roses will sprout well and bloom again this season.
Now we have the English roses that have used the winter hardiness and fragrance of Grandmother's roses and the repeat bloom of the modern roses, giving us a hardy, fragrant and bloom all summer.
The roses we sell are the survivors of testing done by our Rosarian, Raymond Graber. Old Sheep Meadows Nursery offers more than 100 varieties of roses, that we have tested in our own gardens and selected for winter hardiness, beauty and fragrance. We welcome you to come and see just how practical growing roses in Maine can be. Visit our country garden and see these wonderful roses growing in a natural setting.
Our Annual Open House for rose lovers will be June 10th through July 4th.
We welcome visitors to walk our gardens and see the roses growing on our 5 acre English country garden. We have roses for sale in 2, 3, 4, and 5 gallon containers, but we do not ship roses. Many Maine visitors come to our gardens and bring home our lovely Roses to plant in their gardens.