If you stroll through Windsor's parks these days, the air is not quite as sweet as it used to be — that's because there's a lot fewer rose beds in public gardens compared to five years ago.

Windsor, or "the city of roses" as it is known, has taken out about half of its rose beds because of a provincial ban on pesticide use in 2009 — something the finicky rose sometimes needs to flourish, said Don Sadler, Executive Director of Parks and Recreation.

"When you have large areas of roses it's just impossible for you to maintain large areas without the use of some chemicals to ward off some of the diseases that affect roses," Sadler said.

Where to find roses in Windsor:

  • Brumpton Park
  • Alexander Park
  • Jackson Park
  • City hall
  • Coventry Gardens

Source: Don Sadler, Parks & Recreation

"We're still in the business of growing roses, but we're carefully monitoring the development of disease and insect resistant roses."

Sadler said the 50 percent drop in rose beds can mainly be attributed to the elimination of a test garden at Jackson Park. Suppliers used to provide different rose varieties for the city to try out, but they required a lot of attention, he said.

Despite the drop in rose plantings, Sadler claims Windsor is still the city of roses. The city has introduced a disease-resistant variety of roses called "the city of Windsor rose", and there are still lots of roses on city and private property, he said.