It's that time again. Everything arrived by early April and is now growing (or not), so this seems like a good time to score the nurseries.
I'll split this up into several posts. Otherwise, if I type out an incredibly long post and lose it somewhere in cyberspace, I'll be greatly annoyed.
I bought roses from more than 20 mail-order nurseries this year, so it might be easier to start by listing the ones I didn't use this year and telling you why.
I did not buy anything from Jackson & Perkins or Heirloom. I will never buy anything from those two nurseries again. J&P has degenerated into a disgrace. Heirloom sent me two roses four years ago that were mere 4-inch sticks. One didn't bloom for three years and then turned out to be the wrong rose, and the other blooms every year but is still no more than 10 or 12 inches tall.
Antique Rose Emporium and High Country Roses don't carry anything I want that I don't already have, so I never order from them.
Amity, my favorite own-root nursery, changed its product list this year and stopped carrying whatever roses I may have wanted and didn't already have, so I bought nothing from Amity. Rosemania, Ashdown, and Countryside are also nurseries I've bought roses from in the past, but I've now exhausted their listings and they no longer carry anything I don't already have.
Rose nursery report card 2009
It's that time again. Everything arrived by early April and is now growing (or not), so this seems like a good time to score the nurseries.
I'll start with the Canadian nurseries. I always buy bare-root grafted roses from three of them.
I'm still in the middle of a fight with Hortico over some ratty roses they sent me last June. Since then, however, they sent me some wonderful roses in January, so I can't condemn them. When they're good, they're very, very good. Their prices and shipping rates are lower than those at U.S. nurseries, and the multiflora rootstock doesn't appeal to gophers, so I'm sold on Canadian roses.
The roses from Pickering this year were smaller than usual and one arrived dead. They are growing nicely, though, and my credit card was refunded for the dead one.
The roses from Palatine were superb, as always. It remains my favorite nursery for bare-root grafted roses.
I bought miniature roses from two sources. I received a couple of orders from Nor'East and all the roses are doing well. I'm really going to miss them.
For a couple of years, I've ordered minis from John's in spite of their connection to Heirloom. Last year's looked great, but this year the connection to Heirloom was readily apparent. For one thing, even though I ordered them in November and they didn't send them until March (and a second shipment in April), they neglected to let me know that a couple were out of stock and would not be sent. That was irritating because I could have ordered them from another nursery in the meantime. The other thing was the size. Oh, my God, they were the tiniest, drippiest roses imaginable. Kassia was visiting me when the second shipment arrived and she can tell you that even a comparison to a toothpick would have been a compliment.
I bought bands from several nurseries.
The bands from Vintage were the same as always -- most of them good, some not so good. I usually can count on 5% not surviving. But that's okay. The other 95% grow well.
I ordered from Mark of Excellence for the first time. I was a little wary at first because he carries the same roses as Heirloom and I was afraid he might have a connection to them. When the shipment of three roses arrived and one promptly died, I was even more wary. Contrary to my expectations, however, the other two roses are growing beautifully, so I will order from him again.
The roses from Northland were probably the best own-root bands I bought this year. Nice and big, and quite healthy.
The roses from Almost Heaven came in the tiniest containers imaginable. I think they were 2 1/2" pots. In spite of that, they're growing beautifully and are now as big as the gallon roses I received from Chamblee's at the same time.
Rogue Valley is starting to get me down. I love their gallon roses, and the bands are okay, but they have a real problem with mislabeling. Almost all of the mislabeled roses in my garden came from Rogue Valley.
Burlington is a great find. It's like having The Uncommon Rose and Sequoia back again. Very healthy bands -- not particularly large, but not ridiculously small either, and the price is low.
I bought gallon roses from five nurseries.
The ones from Chamblee's were smaller than usual, but they were smaller than usual last year too.
The four from Eurodesert arrived looking more like bands. Two are still quite small and struggling, but two are growing well. The prices are higher than most, but they're roses you won't find anywhere else in most cases.
Last year we mourned the loss of Moore's Nursery. I ordered roses from Greenmantle for the first time this year, and when they arrived, it was like a case of deja vu. They looked just like the Moore's roses and were packaged and shipped the same way, with most of the dirt removed and with the root ball encased in a plastic bag. They're actually supposed to be 2-gallon roses, but they look just like Moore's gallons.
The gallons from Roses Unlimited still take the first prize for own-root gallons. I just love their roses. The only problem with them is the shipping. I pay $8 per rose just for shipping. It's worth it, though, because they're always healthy and always start growing like crazy as soon as they get into the ground.
Those four nurseries sent me own-root 1-gallon (or 2-gallon in the case of Greenmantle) roses. I also bought budded roses in gallons from K&M. They were truly gorgeous rose bushes from the day they arrived. They're budded on Fortuniana rootstock and grow into big monsters.
I bought bare-root grafted roses from lots of American nurseries too, but most of them were local, so I won't even mention them. Four of them do send bare-root roses out by mail, however.
Edmund's roses were very nice this year. I like ordering from them because they always have a few roses that won't be available anywhere else until next year.
Regan's roses were just okay this year, but it might be the varieties I chose. Most of them were from the Certified Roses line, and I think they're a little more temperamental than most.
The roses from S&W were very, very nice and very, very cheap. I happened to run across the Website by chance on a day when they were 20% off and had a flat $5 shipping fee, regardless of the quantity ordered, so I'm quite happy with them.
The roses from Garden Valley Ranch were the very best, especially the David Austins. They all had five or six huge canes.
All of my roses but two came from Chamblees, but I picked them up, and a lot of them were 2 or 3 gallons. Out of 62 roses, I've had two that weren't what I thought I bought, but in one case, the one I ended up with was right next to the one I intended to purchase, so I think that one was my fault. The other one was incorrectly labeled. All of them are doing great with the exception of the 7 or 8 in my north bed that almost drowned. Finally drying out, and hoping they survive.
I ordered two bare-root roses from Edmunds this year, and after I ordered them I realized that they didn't say if they were grafted or own-root. They seem to be taking off well though.
I don't think Edmunds sells any own-root roses, so they must have been grafted.
Very useful info. My comments:
Chamblees, roses smaller than usual, I thought, but healthy and doing well. Like Zuzu, I won't be buying much from them in the future because I have what I want from their list. However, if I go to their place in Tyler, I'm sure I'll be tempted.
Nor'east, I shall miss them. I thought they were the best for minis. I always trusted their info as to size, color, etc. sigh.
Rogue Valley Roses. Got my beloved Si from them. I thought the Sunsprite and the Joyce Barden roses I got from the looked like sticks, but they took off immediately.
The Appalachian Rose Co. extremely pleased with them and would recommend them to anybody.
Unless I add new beds (and ea yr I SWEAR I won't) I don't see myself buying many more roses, unless it is to replace a loss.
Edited to add I also got one rose from Jung Seed Co. The Whiteout bare root that I received was healthy and cheap. Happy w/ this transaction.
This message was edited May 25, 2009 8:22 AM
i only bought from vintage gardens .they were rooted cuttings thinner than a pencil . but they were the only ones to carry what i wanted . to be honest the ones that came from heirloom last yr looked better . i have run out of room unless i add more beds and i probably will . as soon as i finish my pathways and i can figure out where . the only rose that i absolutely have to have still is brass band which i still havnt gotten .
did any one order from palatine?
I had one mis labled rose, but its ok I could tell it was st patrick instead of cinderella. pretty strange they mixed to completely different roses.
I will never order from hortico again unless i cant get something anywher else.
I ordered a couple roses in the past. One was my rose des cisterians, which I hated waited forever for. they sent it to me at the end of may. it came just with the longest white numbs all over it. i tried saving it but no go. they could of at least let me know in an email it was ready for shipment. it died so did blue bayou.
Okey doke... I'll join in. This year, I ordered roses from K&M, Vintage, Chamblee's, Northland Rosarium, EuroDesert, Ashdown, Nor'East, Appalachian, Jung, and Edmunds. I am happiest with K&M (impossible to beat them for roses to be grown in a warm climate in my opinion... they send huge, healthy roses on Fortuniana). I am also very happy with Appalachian. There's a big difference in these two as far as how the plant looks when it arrives, but both have good canes and strong root systems. K&M's look extremely healthy and are a deep green, bursting with leaves and buds on arrival. Appalachian's typically look a bit stressed on arrival, sparse of leaves and empty of buds. However, these is also a difference in price and in shipping time. K&M is next to me in Mississippi, whereas Appalchian is much further away. Chamblee's sends very nice roses for a fantastic price, but they just don't compare to K&M, Appalachian or ARE for maturity of their gallons. This is forgiven by me because their price for gallons is less than some other nurseries for tiny bands. EuroDesert was my final place for gallons this year... my opinion is the same as Zuzu's for them. The roses are growing VERY slowly, but are trudging along. They are progressing much better than the bands from Vintage and they are very hard-to-find cultivars, so I can be patient.
For smaller roses, Northland again gets first place in my book, followed very closely by Nor'East. Of course, that's a moot comparison now since Nor'East is closing it's retail operations. Ashdown's roses were fine... nothing special, but they're doing alright. No complaints. I am a bit frustrated with Vintage. The mortality rate for the bands they sent this year was quite aggravating. I don't appreciate having to send requests for replacements and then having to accept another cultivar when the one I ordered that died is no longer available. Six of my bands died, and two of these were replaced with something else because my original rose was no longer available. That's just unacceptable. While all the roses I purchased in the past from Heirloom were small and very slow to start, I never lost a single one. I believe in supporting the nurseries that keep the unique cultivars in commerce, so I will continue to shop with them, but I may very well consider throwing more business to Heirloom if a cultivar is available at both Vintage and Heirloom in the future... and Burlington is looking MUCH more attractive to me.
For bare roots, I can't really evaluate Garden Valley as there was a delivery mishap (not Garden Valley's fault) that prevented me from receiving them before they died. =( For Jung and Edmunds, the roses were much nicer than I expected. I'm very happy with both of them.
I attempted to order from Amity, but it took them way too long to update their website with what they would be offering, and then the selection was nothing special, to say the least. I doubt I will check their website again. Other great mail-order sources that I have used in the past, but didn't order from this year, were Roses Unlimited and Antique Rose Emporium. I am sure I will order from them in the future. I'm also checking in to the process for receiving roses from Europe. I found a nursery that will ship to me if I obtain all the correct permits and send them. It may be quite cost-prohibitive, but there are a few cultivars that I really, really want... so it might be worth it. I'll post details about them once I figure out if and how this can be accomplished for a reasonable price.
I ordered from Roses Unlimited, Vintage, Jung, and Edmunds this year.
As usual, the RU roses were large and incredibly healthy and are growing like crazy. One came without a label but is about to open it's first buds so I'll soon be able to tell if it's what I ordered or not, I'm not really worried about it though.
The Vintage bands were OK, nothing to complain about, and are growing nicely.
I ordered an own root climber from Jung and it was an acceptable size bareroot. I ordered it late and just received it a couple of weeks ago. It's just starting to grow, but no complaints there either.
I got an own root mini from Edmunds, also ordered late. This is the first mini I've ordered and it was so huge I'm wondering if it's really a mini! I had to run out and get a bigger pot, and still had to trim roots to get it in. Looking at the pruning on it I think it might be a 3 year old rose which would explain why it's so big, but will have to wait for the leaves to finish coming out to tell for sure. Pic below with ruler - it's (hopefully) a new mini-moss introduction this year 'Warm and Fuzzy'. I fell in love with it while visiting the Weeks website to answer a question on the forum!
Also just received a 'Coquette des Blanches' from melvatoo. Nice looking rose that arrived in great shape, she's all potted up and hopefully enjoying all the rain we've been getting today!
I did all own-root this year again. Based on everyone's recommendations I tried places other than Heirloom. Every Heriloom rose came back from last year (about 30), some are still small.
I got some roses from RU, everyone was right, they are huge, and only $4.00 to ship to CT per plant. I thought they were a little light on root and heavy on top growth, but that does not seem to stop they from growing.
I did even more from High Country...at first I read RUs web site wrong and thought they did not have what I wanted (Firefox issue with search function). Turns out their stuff is very nice. Probably 80% the size of RU, growing and budding like crazy. Only exception is the Rosarie de la'Hay...one stick and was kind of sickly...Rosemary there said the rugosas don't like shipping that much and it should recover. It does seem to be now, so should be OK.
North Country Roses. I wanted Rugosas that I could not find elsewhere (before I found High Country). Their stuff was all bare root. Some were big, some not so big...but all doing great. Seems the rugosas do pretty well bare root.
And I just remembered, I got three Tuscan Sun from J&P. I know everyone says avoid them like the plague, but I really wanted this rose and could not find it elsewhere. Bare root and huge. Doing great so far. Plus my friend got me the test garden collection from them. Four own-root HTs. They are in pots waiting to find a home. Also bare root and huge, doing great.
I'd order from all of these places again. All in all I got about 30ish roses this year.
This message was edited May 27, 2009 4:26 AM
I forget to say I also got the J&P test panel roses, same experience as Miles with them - large healthy bare root plants that are in large pots and just starting to form buds now.
Thank you to everyone for posting their report card on the nurseries
I haven't ordered anything this year, we just don't have the money.
I like to read what everyone ordered and how they were treated by the
My favorite sites are the Pickerting one and boy oh boy, those roses
get sold out almost overnight it seems.
I also love the Palantine, and I fell so in love with the Cinderella HT,
I visit her every chance I get to go to that site. sigh. If I could just
order one rose, I would order that one, but the nursery told me the
minimum order was 3 roses, and that we cannot do.
I am going to check out the S&W, I am not familiar with the.
also the Burlington.
I think you guys are the best for supporting the rose growers.
Personally, I will never order from J&P nor Wayside gardens ever ever ever again.
J& P my roses withered and died.
Wayside, after a large order, lots died and they didn't honour any guarantee.
OK First problem.
I cannot find Burlington.
Where is it, what is its real name?
First year for me & I'm happy to report:
melvatoo - purchased 4 roses in mid April of this year, I received very healthy young plants, though I won't plant them in the ground, until fall. They are coming along nicely. I'd buy from her again!
Countryside - bought many roses from Lisa this past fall & winter. They were all very healthy looking when I got them, unfortunately, I drowned 3 of them (the newer qt size). No fault of CS & the ones in the ground are doing well, I'll buy again for her too.
Vintage - I purchased from them due to all the positive noise being made in the Rose forum at the time. I got a refund on one, but the orther 7 are doing fine in the gound since fall. I hope many folks continue to support them, but the shipping may be a deal breaker.
I tried one company for bare-root, S&W. They had very nice plants (better than I expected, due to lack of DG feedback) & I haven't lost the first one yet. Quite remarkable for me. I was able to put them in the ground immediately. I'll be back for more bareroot this year, especially at their sale prices.
Must report on a local 5 & dime, Roses Dept store. They had some incredible buys on the bagged roses at 3 for $10. You can't imagine how thrilled I am with their performance so far! Some of the first to bloom out.
I got roses this season from Amity Heritage, Chamblee's, Heirloom and Pickering. Amity's were huge bands, just wonderful! Heirloom's bands were small, I was worried that one might not make it but it pulled through. Another of Heirloom's seems to have a permanent case of chlorosis despite giving it iron but it's growing anyway. Chamblee's gallons were smaller than I remember from years past but healthy. As usual Chamblee's had anywhere from two to four rooted cuttings in each pot which I separated and only lost a couple of. Pickerings were kind of small for grafted roses but are growing well and blooming. Amity's were the nicest I got this year but their selection is limited. The first bloom on Camille Pissarro was open this morning before I left for work. Wish I'd had time to take a pic, it was that gorgeous.
*Edited for spelling.
This message was edited May 28, 2009 11:21 AM