thanks! Got it at Paulino's - I've usually had really good luck with everything I've purchased there but I actually lost a rose bush of theirs a couple of years ago, too. Might have to start shopping at Echter's! Anyway, we have the Rose of Sharon in the back yard. It is kind of standing out in the open, but it's southern exposure and we actually had quite a mild winter last year. We protected it as I described, wrapping the trunk and wrapping frost blankets over the top yet still apparently ended up with winter kill.
I guess I'll move it and let it come up how it wants to come up and see what I end up with! It appears we need to rethink the ornamental tree situation now. *sigh*