rebecca101 Madison, WI (Zone 5a) (25 reviews) May 6, 2012
I ordered 3 bare-root roses (alba and damask) from Pickering this spring. All arrived looking nice and healthy, and have started growing happily since planted. This is my first experience with bare-root roses, so I can't compare the size, but so far so good! They have a great selection of cold-hardy roses.
Posted on March 9, 2012, updated April 17, 2012
The ordering experience was a pleasure, and I received a couple of very nice alba roses from this company, sent exactly when I wanted them. The root systems were huge, with 5 or 6 nice canes on each plant. An old-fashioned rambler was a little smaller, but fine. Everything was still moist and healthy looking. Definitely worth the price. On April 17th, 2012, AS added the following:
I should probably mention that all 3 roses leafed out very promptly and have been growing well.
pirl (Arlene) Southold, NY (Zone 7a) (32 reviews) April 8, 2012
Ordered three floribundas from them. They arrived precisely on time but they were very dry. I allowed them to soak in water for five days and then planted them. I will update my review as they grow and bloom.
bungalow1056 Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7b) (7 reviews) July 4, 2011
I ordered several old garden roses and a couple of English roses from Pickering earlier this year. All of the plants had good sized root systems and took off immediately after planting. All the plants were healthy. The packaging was good and the staff very friendly.
Received 3 bare root roses not available from other online sellers. VERY small thin canes and roots and all three appeared somewhat dry upon arrival. Since planting, two have broken dormacy and appear to be leafing out although somewhat slowly.
One rose is "iffy" if it will make it. Has a tiny green leaf bud, but I will revise my rating depending on if it survives. Canes are dark brown, but I'm hoping not dead. Of course, it was the rose I really wanted the most!
shihtzumom Pearisburg, VA (Zone 7a) (11 reviews) March 26, 2011
Received my order which was well packed. I opened the package within minutes of getting them from FedEx. I was disappointed at the cane size. None were larger than a pencil in diameter. The root systems seemed very healthy. Upon examination I found very dark coloration on Westerland and reddish/blackish on Aloha. Also, the Westerland had a hole in one cane near the root stock. I emailed them immediately. The response was - the roses will be fine, they looked at their other Westerland and that blackish color was fine (not in my experience) and the darkness on Aloha was also normal (not on my other Aloha or my sister's) but they forgot to mention the hole which I am concerned will cause disease. They made note of my concerns and said a refund would be issued if they did not survive. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I made a special bed for Lemon Meringue and Westerland against a white privacy fence. I will stick with Palatine Roses in the future. I have never received a rose from them where the canes were so tiny.
badger1 Platteville, WI (4 reviews) November 9, 2010
Posted on September 28, 2005, updated November 9, 2010
Although I got mislabeled roses from Pickering, I have to give them a positive. Not only are their roses the biggest, thickest bare root roses I've ever gotten, all of them have thrived (even the mislabeled ones = / )and the newly planted moss bloomed! However, they goofed on my 18 white rugosas. I intended a white rose hedge and was most excited when they started to bloom....in pink? Yep, only 2 of the 18 were white. I emailed them and after a tad long wait, they responded w/apologies and a promise to refund the cost of all 18 rugosas which they did. (I made sure I let them know of the problem before their guarantee ran out - always read the fine print!) I am hopeful that this mislabeling is the only speedbump in our relationship because I intend to order from them again. They've got healthy stock and they carry older varieties AND they grow in Ontario so I'm more confident their roses will grow in my 4B zone. And best of all, they made good on their mistake.On November 9th, 2010, badger1 added the following:
Pickering is still #1 for tough, antique rose varieties. However I must add that a rose I ordered in 2007 (Duchesse d' Angouleme) has not performed as promised. Ironically, it has OUT performed for me. Supposedly a small rose bush w/"nodding flowers", mine is over 6' tall(!) and the roses are on stiff, upright necks and when I check books/photos, mine looks nothing at all like the descriptions (Pickerings or anyone elses). I emailed Pickering in 2008 (after seeing the plant bloom) along w/photos but never heard a peep from them. So perhaps I just got an extremely robust specimen? To be honest I did not pursue the matter w/the nursery so this is my fault and I continue to order happily from them. It's just that I'd like to be darn sure that what I'm planting is what I bought! So just make sure to double check ever plant label if you've bought a rose for a specific purpose. I now have a mystery rose in a really bad spot because I planted what they said was Duchesse. I suppose I should be grateful...it is one big and healthy specimen, whatever it is!
silverkelt Waterboro, ME (4 reviews) August 4, 2010
4 years ordering from pickering.. mostly quality stuff, especially compared to some other companies, also grafted on either multiflora or laxa, a postive in our neck of the woods.
Have had some slight mix ups , recieved a great maidens blush vs a alba maxima. Also one or two of the cultivators were a tad small. But otherwise 95% of thier product is very good. That is a very good rate for a rose company.
I see some negative or neutral reviews based upon one rose or two .. thats kind of unfair IMO, pickering really is a top notch rose vendor.
For the past three years, I have placed large orders with Pickering. The roses from Pickering are by far my healthiest. They establish quickly and seem to overwinter better. Customer service is always quick and friendly and the selection of roses is outstanding.
Posted on May 25, 2009, updated April 29, 2010
I ordered seven disease resistant roses from Pickering. The canes on one were very small but the other six looked great. The roses appear to be doing very well and I am very pleased with the order I received. Their prices are very reasonable, and their shipping and packaging is great.On April 29th, 2010, riosamba added the following:
All of the roses that I ordered are still alive and growing nicely after a tough winter. Many of the other roses that were outside did not do as well. When I order more roses it will be from Pickering. They sell a superior, hardy product.
kentstar Ravenna, OH (Zone 5b) (39 reviews) April 19, 2010
Posted on June 7, 2009, updated April 19, 2010
Healthy looking bareroots! I bought three John Cabots, one for myself (of course lol), two for some people at work. My fellow workers say they are doing great! Thankyou. I'm sure I'll be back. On April 19th, 2010, kentstar changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
An update first on the 3 John Cabots that were ordered last year. Only one out of the three stayed with me, the rest I gave to coworkers as gifts. One coworker said that hers is doing great, but the other said the rose died soon after planting. Could have been her experience, so I can't say much about that. Mine died within a few months, but again I think it was probably my fault, because I was new to planting and caring for roses and didn't know about the need to soak overnight before planting.
Now, I ordered and received 3 Twister climbing roses, which came in good time, but they were very dry. No wet paper towels, moist stuffing around the roots or anything. I did soak overnight this time, and so far so good. They look good for mini's. One out of the three had roots that were pretty small and only roots on on side. Kind of weird but ok.
We'll see how these do. They are potted up right now and I am keeping them watered. I'll update later on when I see how they do.
peonyrosegirl Crown Point, IN (Zone 5a) (2 reviews) August 6, 2009
I hate to give out a negative but I have to say my experience was not great. I ordered two climbing roses which were absolutely tiny upon delivery. They did let me know ahead of time they would be shipping one year old plants however these were extremely small and seemingly weak climbing roses with almost no root system to speak of. After babying them all summer they look just pathetic still. When I called to ask for any tips on helping them along I felt the service rep was more interested in proving it was MY fault as opposed to helping me with a remedy for the problem. I wasn't even looking for a refund, just a way to help these two roses live since I had put SO MUCH time and energy plus a whole growing season into their success. She was definitely not friendly. I have 50+ other roses in my yard and have planted them all in the same way, but these are the only ones that have totally failed to even get started. This vendor was a disapointment.On August 28th, 2009, peonyrosegirl changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I wanted to change my rating to a neutral as of August 09 because after some real frustration with the customer service of this company I received a nice phone call directly from the owner who was trying to set things straight. He offered to replace the plants without me asking and was helpful with planting advice. Shipping will be next Spring and I'll look forward to trying these roses over again.
borealrose East Hardwick, VT (6 reviews) April 22, 2009
Wonderful company. My eight roses arrived last week, huge and healthy. For those of us in the north, Pickering has the best selection by far, and much better prices than many of the other nurseries I've ordered from in the past. Not only was the packaging efficient (8 big rose bushes in one little box), but they combined two separate orders I made so as to save shipping costs (I didn't want to complicate the order by asking them to do this, so it was a nice surprise).
All in all, highly recommended. I can't wait to place another order next spring.
cattjovi Richmond Hill, GA (15 reviews) April 18, 2009
My first order from Pickering and it won't be my last. Very happy with my roses. All were very well packed and the roses were full of roots.
I give this order an A+.
I ordered three roses from Pickering. I chose them because they have a very helpful website with an extensive collection of old garden roses. I also wanted a company that shipped bare-root roses, as I have had problems before with pests traveling onto my property in the soil of potted roses.
My roses arrived packaged very well, with the root balls still moist. They arrived at the right time for planting dormant roses in my zone. I couldn't believe the branching both on the top of the plant and in the root ball! These plants are at least as large as what I could find in a local nursery, for 1/2 the price. I was very pleased. I will definitely order from them again.
I ordered 5 bareroot roses this spring that I couldn't find locally. The plants were sent exactly when I asked. Communication with Pickering was excellent. When I lost my invoice (due to 'puter trouble) they quickly emailed me my invoice after I asked them for a copy by email. Also, they sent me an email telling me when my roses had shipped. They arrived within a week of this email.
The roses were well packed and arrived in great condition. The roses were of good size--even the 1/2 size blanc double de coubert! It looked only a bit smaller than the other bareroot roses.
They've all been in the ground about six weeks now, are super healthy and are really getting big fast--they are already more than half the size of the prairie joy and morden blush I planted 3 years ago!
They are a bit spendy and shipping isn't cheap--but for quality and selection of cultivars that do well in cold climates, Pickering is the best. If I find room in my yard for more roses, I will certainly be back!
On July 4th, 2008, bemidjigreen added the following:
Just wanted to add--I think I figured out what the difference between a full and half size rose is according to Pickering: whether it will bloom the first year or not! In general bareroots are suppose to not bloom their first year, however ALL of my full size roses from pickering are blooming! I LOVE pickering! If there were star ratings at gwd--6 out of 5 for this nursery!
Kassia Framingham, MA (Zone 6a) (12 reviews) May 19, 2008
I love pikering roses... every single one I got last year and this year are doing great! the rugosas are little monsters already!
customer service is excelent!
great prices and really nicely packed!
Love the selection! Love pickering!On June 2nd, 2008, Kassia added the following:
I had a problem with 2 roses this year... emailed them today and did not even ask for a replacement - I think that if in 10 roses one doesn't make it, it could be something I did, and the prices are so great with Pickering that it would be ok... but even if I didn't ask, they have given me a credit... love this people and certainly I have more roses to order next year... they are really great!!!!!
larlienda Strasburg, VA (Zone 6b) (35 reviews) April 27, 2008
I received my order from Pickering the other day. I was sure there must be other packages because it just didn't seem large enough to contain my entire order of 12 roses. I have some roses from different places last year that were so tiny that they've hardly moved into the small category this year.
Boy was i surprised when i opened up the package......inside were 12 roses with absolutely huge roots and good sized canes on all of them. My husband can attest to how large the root systems were because he kept having to dig the holes deeper.
Couldn't be more pleased and the shipping to me was much less than a popular place in california was last year for a much smaller order. I'm happy & look forward to future orders from Pickerings.
cinti5291 Cincinnati, OH (4 reviews) April 7, 2008
I received a total of 6 bareroot rugosa roses (2 hard-to-find varieties) in good condition; several sturdy canes and well rooted.
One of the varieties was not initially shipped, but the error was corrected promptly with great communication from their staff.
Sure, all of us prefer an error free transaction, but it's wonderful to do business with people who are around in just in case there is a glitch.
mackthek Peterborough County, ON (1 review) July 2, 2007
I am very impressed by the quality of stock receieved from Pickering Nurseries. My order was received in early April as promised --- mostly Hybrid Perpetuals and Austens, 15 roses in total. The grafts were large and supported four and five canes each with strong healthy roots, and they were just breaking dormancy. Since the bed I had planned for them wasn't ready, I potted them up, and planted them out at the end of May. They have without exception performed beautifully and beyond expectation. The bed is now in full bloom and stunning. I can't say enough how pleased I am with both their service and their product. Well done.
I've had the opportunity to visit their nursery near Port Hope and the staff are very friendly and knowlegeable --- it's obvious they know and love roses and take pride in what they do.
This was my second year placing an order with Pickering. Last year was the first. I'm a bit of a novice, so I was a little apprehensive about growing bare root roses. But what I learned last year was that it's not difficult at all. All the roses from last year were outstanding performers. Most of them bloomed the first year. This year, I placed a larger order. And then I placed another order. And then another. They had no trouble keeping track of, and combining my three orders. Also, I initially placed a late ship-date, and they notified me that I should ship at the same time as last year (since that worked out fine). On top of that... The credit cards that I used to place my order were stolen from my gym's locker-room. Pickering contacted me and was very patient as we sorted that mess out. With my three orders, and the problems with the stolen credit cards, I would honestly say that filling my order was a little challenging. But, the person who helped me on the phone (I think it was Donna?) was so very nice, helpful, and organized. All my roses arrived in great condition with no problems (there was a slight delay because of the colder than usual weather conditions in my area, and I was notified of this in an email). The only thing is that my shipment (this year) did not include instructions on planting. I think it did last year. But I remembered how I planted bare roots last year (plus I had a couple books to consult). If you've never tried growing bare root roses, give it a shot. Hopefully you'll be as impressed as I was. When you receive a box of "twigs" it'll seem a little daunting, but just follow the instructions and it should be ok. I would highly recommend Pickering to other people.
carrieebryan Independence, MO (Zone 6a) (2 reviews) April 23, 2007
Excellent condition after shipping. I ordered 3 roses from Pickering last fall, to be shipped for planting about April 15. In early April I received email that they were delaying shipment due to the prolonged cold spell here in the Lower 48, for which I was grateful! On April 16 I received another email that the 3 darlings were on their way, and the box was waiting for me when I got home from work on April 20. I put the roses in the ground on April 21.
The 3 plants were what I had experienced from Pickering when I had had garden space in the 1980s -- many robust canes, moist, extensive, and sturdy root systems, and even breaking leaf nodes. They had been clearly labeled, double wrapped in heavy black plastic, and packed tightly into the box, and that was all they needed. The multitudes of canes glow green with health and I have no doubt they will thrive.On May 10th, 2007, carrieebryan added the following:
The experts tell you not to expect blooms on your rose bushes the first year after planting. Seventeen days after I put these 3 in the ground, one of them, 'Applejack', had a bud on it! All 3 are very full of new canes and leaves. If there was a better rating than 'Positive', I'd give it to Pickering!
I placed my order with Pickering in mid Nov '06 for spring delivery. I ordered 3 roses at that time and rec'd confirmation within 4 days. Come February, I wanted to add an additional rose to it, and I rec'd confirmation of the addition the following day.
On April 2, '07 I rec'd notice that my rose order had been processed and shipped. Three days later the roses were at my front door. Upon opening the package I found all bareroots marked as to what I ordered. They were very big, healthy, moist and dormant. Even the rooted cutting I ordered was as big as any other grafted rose I have ever ordered from any nursery.
I give Pickering Nursery of Canada 5/5 stars. I will recommend them at every opportunity and they will definitely go on my top 5 list of mail order nurseries along with David Austin Roses, Palatine Nursery, Cornhill Nursery, and S&W Greenhouses.
Thank You Pickering
Mary1NYS Sherrill, NY (Zone 5a) (14 reviews) April 4, 2007
Recd 3 Austin bareroots in great shape with huge roots and healthy canes. I am very pleased and will order from again. I look forward to watching these grow into beauties!
trospero Corvallis, OR (16 reviews) March 20, 2006
I have been a customer of Pickering Nurseries for over a decade now and have not once had a bad experience with them. They sell superb roses for an excellent price, and service has always been accurate and plants were shipped when they said they would be. Plants arrive sealed in plastic bags and are always reasonably damp upon arrival. I have never had a plant from Pickering fail to grow. Occasionally they have grade 1.5 plants of some varieties in years when the weather does not go well, and when that happens they always inform me ahead of time if the plants are smaller than usual and offer me a discount or a substitution. (It is very rare that I get a smaller than normal plant)
I have never lost a plant, regardless of the size upon arrival. For bud grafted plants, I don't think there is anyone who grows better plants for a good price than Pickering does. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone. They set a standard for excellence, in my book.
jamie68 Vancouver, WA (Zone 8b) (6 reviews) March 19, 2006
I am so very pleased with my experience with Pickering!! I bought roses from many mail-order nurseries this year, and they were by far the best of the bunch!! The selection is amazing, and the roses were GREAT!! Massive root systems, 4-5+ big, healthy canes per rose, and all 12 have tons of buds and many even have basal breaks showing....these roses are ready to take off once planted! Very good customer service, prompt emails, and phone calls and courteous staff. Just about the best all around mail-order plant transaction I have ever had!! A+
After a decade of ordering from this vendor: Quite simply, Pickering is by far the best source for grafted roses. Their selection is notoriously virus-free, amazingly comprehensive, and available at prices that are dirt-cheap by U.S. standards. You just can't go wrong here.
mholmgren Myrtle Point, OR (7 reviews) November 29, 2005
I just got my first order from them, 17 bareroot assorted roses. They are HUGE! I had to dig the holes twice as big as usual. Lots of nice, thick canes. I'm very, very pleased.
threeducks Southfield, MI (7 reviews) June 21, 2005
I hate to say this, but I have to give Pickering a negative. I placed a late season order with them for 7 bareroot hybrid teas. When they arrived, they were bone dry. Most of them had only one or two tiny canes. Quite frankly, I was shocked, especially after all of the positive comments posted about them. After a month in the ground, only two of the 7 roses look good. 4 are on life support and one is definitely dead. Perhaps it was my late season order and I was getting leftovers. Still, I would expect the roses to be viable and not all dried out.
Gindee77 Hampton, IL (Zone 5a) (16 reviews) May 14, 2005
I've odered quite a few roses from Pickering over the last few years and I really like their quality and price. I've never gotten a mis-labeled rose from them and they've always thrived in my garden. I highly recommend this vendor, you won't be sorry.
I have just come inside from planting the four antique garden roses that I ordered from Pickering (wish now that I'd ordered more from them as I split my orders up among several vendors)....I just know these four roses will be the stars of my garden!! They arrived in perfect condition....great packaging, healthy green canes, and what incredible roots! This was my first experience with this nursery and I know I will be doing business with them for many years to come! The prices are reasonable, the selection of old garden roses is good, and the shipping was quick--just two days. Thank you, Pickering! On April 22nd, 2006, celestialrose added the following:
Well, here it is, a year later, and I am still extremely satisfied with Pickering Nurseries! I ordered 10 roses this time, and all of them arrived on time, well-packed, green canes with leaf buds starting to pop, and the customary LONG, HUGE roots that I love to see! A couple of the rose canes were black at the tips, so I just pruned them back.....otherwise, they were perfect. I will be a customer of theirs for many years to come. They are my favorite bare-root nursery.On April 12th, 2007, celestialrose added the following:
Here it is, another Spring later, and after receiving my 2007 order I am just as satisfied with Pickering's roses. If anything, they are even better than last year's! HUGE, HUGE roots, green canes (lots of them) and I just placed another big order!!!
DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) (48 reviews) November 26, 2004
I would like to recount the outstanding level of customer service that I just encountered in dealing with Pickering Nurseries. I had wanted to order from them because I have read one authoritative book after another that recommended them. I was having problems connecting with their website and sending them e-mail during the transition between the previous website and the excellent new one that is now running. I also could not find a rose I thought was there (probably my error). I e-mailed Garden Watchdog privately asking for guidance on how to proceed. The next morning I received the first of no less than five e-mails from Steven offering web assistance and from Joel suggesting different roses (and an excellent one I had never heard of, and chose). I was only ordering five roses (for the moment, that is) but the level of attention and care was such that you would have thought I was ordering 50. And, by the way, their web site works wonderfully, and has an unbelievable selection of roses. On April 12th, 2005, DonnaMack added the following:
My roses from Pickering Nursery arrived last Thursday, and kudos to the company. I was sent an e-mail notice on Tuesday announcing two day delivery. The prompt arrival of the roses on Thursday gave me the ability to unpack and soak them and then install them on Saturday morning- perfect. I ordered 2 Quadra and 3 Heidesommer (Joel's excellent recommendation) and received five expertly packed, large, fresh barerooted roses in perfect condition, buds intact, each with a minimum of 4 canes. In fact, only one rose had 4; all of the others had 5 or 6! I was particularly impressed by the very large size of the Quadras, since that particular rose is hard to find, which sometimes means that you have to accept smaller specimens. Not so here. I look forward to ordering again.
On April 14th, 2008, DonnaMack added the following:
I received three very large and very healthy roses from Pickering last week - two Sea Foam and a Constance Spry. Again, I received an e-mail annoucing their arrival, so that I could be prepared. I am a very happy customer.On September 16th, 2009, DonnaMack added the following:
My Constance Spry and Sea Foams are some of the most outrageously healthy roses I have ever received. CS is absolutely huge, with at least 15 stems, some of which are over six feet tall and long. This year was it's first bloom. I was told that the rose would take two to three years to show what it could do, but passersby stopped, oohed and awed.
I lost two Icebergs (from two different companies, neither one of which was Pickering) and sent an email asking for guidance on replacement. Donna Edmonds promptly gave me a carefully thought out response. I ordered two of her suggestions, and then ordered a rose for a friend. Pickering is so excellent that I have no concerns about sending their roses as gifts. The fact that the roses are shipped bareroot (which I initially thought was scary) has the additional benefit of resulting in very low shipping costs.
I purchased my first 3 roses from this company in 2003. They arrived at the right planting time and were nice sizes and good healthy roots and sturdy canes which were already pre-cut. They bloomed wonderfully. The website is very helpful in researching the roses. I can highly recommend this company.
I have ordered roses from several well known U.S. vendors and keep going back to Pickering.
I think they are the best source of virus free roses and reasonably priced as well.
Cactus_Joe Vancouver Canada (2 reviews) July 21, 2004
This spring was the first time that I acquired three roses from Pickerings. Therefore, my experience with them is somewhat limited, as everything went well and I have no cause for contacting their customer service.
But I have nothing but positive things to say about the quality of the roses I got from them. They are on healthy rootstocks, with healthy roots. Canes are somewhat smaller than the ones I am used to out on the West Coast, but that is likely to be expected since they grow their roses in colder climates. All three roses were in great condition. But the most important point is that, in growth, all three Pickerings' roses out striped all but one of the bareroots that I have purchased locally.
The other things I like about Pickerings,:
1. The one nursery in Canada with an extensive offering of roses, including old garden and species roses
2. Rootstocks are Multifloras
3. The excellent prices
msanjelpie Meridian, ID (53 reviews) June 17, 2004
ordered 6 bareroots - oregonian - hawkeye belle - medallion - soleil d'or - prospero - limelight - all are still alive. Wasn't too impressed with original size or quality since they are so highly touted... but as long as the plants live, I'm happy.
caliloo somewhere, PA (Zone 7a) (5 reviews) May 10, 2004
I am sorry to say I am disappointed with my experience ordering from Pickering. I have heard so many great things about this company I eagerly awaited my first delivery this spring. When it did arrive all of the plants were on the small but still acceptable size. Unfortunately one of them had 1 - 2 inches of black on the ends of the canes. I called Customer Service and was told to reprune the rose (disinfecting the pruners after each cut, which I did) and it would be fine. A week or so later the black had returned and again was over an inch down the canes. I recut each cane, again disinfecting after each cut just to watch the canes turn black again. I spoke to Dave and he explained that the particular rose I ordered did not come out of storage well and he would replace or refund if it didn't make it. The rose is now completely dead and I called Customer Service to ask if a replacement rose could be sent. They were sold out of the variety (just as well since I didn't want another of the same that didn't come out of storage well) so I gave the CS person a list of 6 possible replacement roses I would be happy with as a replacement. She offered a credit towards my order for next year and I said I would rather have a replacement or refund. She then told me that Dave would call me back that afternoon to discuss a solution. A week passed and I called again and got Dave on the phone. He said he had seem my messages and he would look into it and call me back. That was a week ago and I still have not heard from him.
I am really disappointed and sorry that this has been such a difficult experience. On December 28th, 2004, caliloo changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Just to update on my experience with Pickering. After several weeks of leaving messages, Dave did get back to me and offered to refund the price of the rose. Even though it took a lot longer than I would have liked, eventually they did resolve the problem in a satisfactory manner
MarilynIN Fort Wayne, IN (Zone 5b) (1 review) April 16, 2004
I just found my source for roses! They arrived this week and I am amazed at the quality of these roses: They were packaged well, very few broken roots, husky canes, swollen leaf buds. Moist, and ready to go! I honestly can say I will definitely keep doing business with Pickering Nurseries (as soon as I can dig a new rose bed, that is)! The only pity is that they can't sell some of the Austins to US customers. I believe it has to do with who holds the patent or something re: selling certain roses to customers in the US.
I first ordered from Pickering in fall of 2002 for delivery in late april of 2003. Everything was delevired on time and arrived in great shape. I had ordered 12 roses for a hedge; I had miscalculated my needs and had to purchase two additional plants of the same variety in a local nursery (at a higher price). At the end of the summer, I could easily tell which plants came from where - the 12 from Pickering were noticeably larger, healthier than the other 2. What makes it even more interesting is that the 2 extra plants had been container-grown while Pickering's plants were bare roots. So last fall, I have ordered more roses from them and have added more plants to my order just a few days ago, all for april delivery. My experience with them has been completely satisfactory and I would recommend them to anyone as the first place to look for roses in North America. Their prices are very competitive, their selection is quite large and they are constantly adding new varieties to it.On May 11th, 2004, iwoqax added the following:
Well, I have just recieved the first of my two orders for this year and I'm even more enthusiastic than before. It was a small order, just five roses, but the plants were huge (1 Alba Maxima and 4 Hansas) - we're talking 4-5 large canes per plant, huge healthy-looking root systems ang a profusion of buds. They were in the ground the following day and seem to be doing well so far. My second order for this year was delayed for some reason (their website states that they had some delays for many orders) and they were kind enough to call to tell me, which I find to be a very nice touch. The icing on the cake ? The lady who called went to the trouble of leaving a message (I wasn't home when she called) in french (I'm in Québec City) which is an effort that most canadian businesses outside of the province don't bother to make. Wether it's company policy or that lady's personal initiative, I find it very commendable. I'll keep you posted when I get my second order, which should be this week.
Nigella Wilmington United States (23 reviews) March 12, 2004
I just received my roses from Pickering. This was my first order with them. All 12 are healthy, very nice, long roots and good canes, non were diseased as opposed to my experience with US purchases this year. Out of 12 1 cannot be called grade 1 because it has only two canes. But other than that I am very pleased with them an definitely order from them in the future.On April 18th, 2004, Nigella added the following:
My experience is still very positive; the roses planted in March took off and grow very well.
I placed two additional orders but I am not going to do that in the future. Some varieties were confirmed but later turned out to be not available. The last two shipments were not carefully packed: I had several roses with canes broken off from graft; since the boxes were not damaged the problem must lay with Pickering's packaging crew not the shipping company.
My only serious criticism re Pickering relates to the ordering process. One orders on the website but online order is considered preliminary. The customer must call in with the credit card number to confirm the order - that is not easy because sometimes it takes days to get through. The phone call is not 'final' either; one must wait for a letter posted by Pickering with the final confirmation and shipping takes place usually after two weeks after one gets the written communication. If the letter states that certain varieties are not available or contains a mistake, the whole process starts all over again: trying to place a new phone call, clarify the issues and wait for a new letter... This is definitely an antiquated process.
However, the roses delivered are worth the trouble so they will be definitely my main source of plants if they carry the varieties I want.