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prairiemoon2

Isn't making rose purchases in person better?

I am trying to follow recommendations that have been made to me, to purchase from Pickering. I live in MA, zone 6, that seems to be the company that many people in my area seem happy with. But going to their website, the photos are awful. Many flower photos make it appear that the blooms are undersized.

Then yesterday, I read the 'shovel prune' thread. Wow, that was an eye opener. It seems to me that many people purchase roses with a lot of uncertainty about whether they are what they are looking for and will do well for them or not. They have to wait until they've tried to grow them for a couple of years and then find out they are not all they were hyped up to be. I assume they are choosing roses based on a description and a photo on a catalog page and it doesn't perform as described or look as described.

So I am starting to wonder if I would be better off to choose a rose from the local nursery when it is in bloom to see if the look of the plant, the bloom and the fragrance are what I am looking for. Many people here seem to have been growing roses for a long time. Can I assume that you asked yourself this question at some point? Why do you buy from a catalog instead of in person? And how often are you disappointed in your purchases?

Comments (52)

  • veilchen
    13 years ago

    You simply don't have anywhere near the selection at local nurseries compared to mail order. Even here in Maine the nurseries, whether local or big box stores, are heavy on HTs and other assorted roses that don't do well here. Their vendors decide for them what they're going to stock.

    I usually know the name of the rose I want to order after doing some research before I go and order it. Not to say I haven't been swayed into an impulse purchase due to a pretty picture, but a good rule is to look into the roses you want to buy, whether they'll do well in your area, if they're disease-resistant, etc. through local rose society or Gardenweb. Then check for their availability through Pickering or whoever (which, btw, has always sent better-quality bareroots that surpass their container counterparts in my local nurseries). Odds are you'll be hard-pressed to find the roses you want at a local nursery.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Those are good reasons for doing it. I didn't realize. Yes, I am doing a little research, but being very new to roses, it is a little overwhelming. I thought I was just going to look up the qualities I was looking for on Pickering's site and order. [g] But I am finding it is not that easy. Well, I have narrowed down one that I know I want from the HelpMeFind website, I'll keep going.

    Thanks :-)

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  • kentstar
    13 years ago

    There's no way my local nursery would ever have William Baffin or my Westerland, which will do very well here. Yes, I suppose it's great to go locally if you can, but as stated above, most nurseries stock up on a handful of hybrid teas, plenty of knockouts, etc. The selection is somewhat limited, and that still doesn't mean that those particular varieties will do well where you are, or that they will survive the winters.
    I am all for helping the locals stay in business, but sometimes you have to go outside the box to find what you are looking for.

  • zack_lau z6 CT ARS Consulting Rosarian
    13 years ago

    My experience is that a carefully researched rose will typically outperform the impulse buy at the nursery. Fortunately, our yard is still big enough for both...

  • Jeannie Cochell
    13 years ago

    I buy what I can locally and order if I can't. Research is much, much cheaper than shovel-pruning and visiting local rose shows and public rose gardens support your community. I strongly recommend this approach to all rosarians. Some roses should be framed and hung on a wall which, in my zone, is rugosas and the proverbial 'can't take the heat, stay out of the desert' rose.

  • athenainwi
    13 years ago

    There are problems with buying locally. Around here there is a very limited selection, one nursery has the newer JP roses, another has mostly Weeks and some of the Easy Elegance roses, one has some Edmunds roses and more Weeks, and there's another with only Weeks roses. Second, some of the roses sell out before the blooms open because there were only a few of them and the people who knew what they wanted got them first. I bought Over the Moon sight unseen because they only had two. Third, the roses aren't always taken care of. By summer the roses at one of the nurseries always look horrible because they aren't watered enough or sprayed. Fourth, you are usually stuck with Dr. Huey rootstock. This isn't always a problem but there are often rootstocks that would be better for your area. Fifth, roses are often virused. These will mostly be the older roses and it isn't always a problem, but if you buy online you can chose a vendor with a virus policy. Sixth, you only get a glimpse of the rose at the nursery. You can see a few blooms but you don't know how hardy it is, how often it blooms, whether it will have disease problems once planted, how big it will get, or how well it will do in your area. The nursery employees often can't tell you much - I've caught employees at one nursery who obviously didn't know anything about roses trying to recommend a variety.

    Now, I still buy several roses each year from my local nurseries. I don't like ordering from JP and I don't like buying new roses without knowing anything about them, so I'll often check on the ones that the nursery gets from JP so I can see them for myself. And if I'm buying for scent, there is nothing better than smelling it myself. But I'll buy online for selection (try finding any Kordes or Delbards locally and they'll laugh at you) and size (Palatine's bareroots are so much bigger than the ones in the nursery) and health (better chance of avoiding virus problems).

    Now, how to start your research is tough, but make a list of what you want in a rose and prioritize. Do you want blooms to cut for the house or a rose with a lot of blooms all the time? What colors do you want? Is scent important or is lasting in a vase? Look through a nice catalog like Heirloom Roses and pick out a few. Come here and ask for good roses that are similar to the roses you already like. Ask about the classic roses - Double Delight is one that you can tell is good because it has been around for a long time and is still recommended. But make sure it is good in your area. There are lots of nice roses for Arizona and California that won't make it through the winter here so I have to ask.

  • kentstar
    13 years ago

    It's funny, but last spring I called our local nursery searching for climbers. I asked the girl that answered the phone "What kinds of climbers do you have?" She promptly came back after a few minutes and exclaimed "We have same red ones left!" I said, but "what kind are they? Answer, well, I'm not sure.

    Red, oh boy, that was helpful. Needless to say, I was a little upset, because I wanted to know what kinds of climbers they had, not what color they were!
    I guess, I should know better than to ask one of the clerks. Lesson learned, talk to the owners, or the ones managing the place.
    After that, I went online to Heirloom and found what I wanted.

  • ceterum
    13 years ago

    If you live on the east coast and want to shop in a local nursery or a chain store, the chances are that you will get roses grafted on Dr. Huey and those roses are usually don't do well in this area and are virused. Besides the selection is very limited. J&P lately had some own root roses, mostly online & mail order and those were very good quality. I don't know if it is still true now that they have become part of Wayside.
    Yes, you see pretty blooms for 2 days, maybe for a week if you catch those roses when the come off freshly from the track in your local nurseries.

    In my sorrow experience local nurseries don't know much about roses, they carry them because people buy roses for Mother's day. But if you visit the same nurseries a month or two later the same roses are in very miserable condition - with the exception of those nurseries that are specialized in roses but you will find very few such nurseries locally. On the other hand, online rose nurseries, most of the time, are passionate experts in roses.

    SP-ing a lot of roses could be for many reasons. There are wonderful photos on the Gardenweb and we want to have those roses often without checking who posted the photo, that is from which part of the country or zone the photo came from. A rose could be perfect in CA and a disaster in z8 on the humid east coast, or not hardy on z5-6t on the east coast while hardy in z6 in the Midwest. Local nurseries won't help you with that because they will not know about these issues. In late April, May or early June every rose will look gorgeous in those local nurseries. Just don't look at them in late July or August.

  • diane_nj 6b/7a
    13 years ago

    If you grow roses, you are going to shovel prune. Either the plant dies or it doesn't perform well. There are runts even in the most vigorous varieties. You can research and get great plants and still something happens. It happens. There are more roses. I have killed more that I can count, but less and less as time goes on. It is part of the learning process.

    I recommend that new rose growers order from Palatine or Pickering. If you research the varieties you want well, and if Palatine or Pickering carry them, you'll have a better than average chance of success.

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    13 years ago

    Seeing a rose in bud and bloom at a local nursery gives no more indication of how it will grow in your garden than buying one from a reputable mail order supplier. Very few local nurseries or garden centers grow their own plants. Most obtain them from commercial growers miles away. Local growers often grow their bushes in greenhouses, force feeding them with water soluble fertilizers and using pesticides to make them look really great.
    Many roses purchased in northern areas in spring may be grown in warmer states in the south and trucked to your local nursery in prime shape.
    How does this tell you how well it will perform in your garden?
    After transplanting in your garden, these roses get a taste of reality and often fail to perform as they did in the pot. Your soil type and rose culture techniques make a big difference also.
    Ordering from a mail order supplier like Pickering give you a true picture of a plants performance from the get go.
    Before you buy you should inquire here about the performance of a rose to get a truer idea of how it will grow for you. That too could be a toss up due to the many different growing conditions and techniques of the various people replying.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thank you all for really great information today. It makes a lot of sense to me. I would love to have success with roses, particularly because I don't have the room or the sun for too many. I am trying to place one in part shade, which is apparently difficult to do, and a couple more in 6-7hrs of sun. I am also an organic grower and would not use any sprays or even synthetic fertilizer, so all the more reason I want to get the right rose.

    I am loving photos that I see in the Rose Forums and try to look for those who have the same zone that I am in. I didn't realize that someone in the Midwest might have a different experience even though they are the same zone. Good to know.

    I did buy roses locally. A white meidland that I had to shovel prune after the first season because of very bad blackspot. It was labeled disease resistant. I also bought a David Austin 'Golden Celebration' which was from David Austin. and a 'Rhapsody in Blue' that was a Star company rose. It was June by the time I bought it and no sooner did I get them in the ground then it got very hot and they suffered. In early summer the next season, I was ready to pull them all out and never grow a rose again. [g] They bloomed once and looked okay then went quickly downhill. So I cut them back to bare stems in preparation to digging them out. But while I was waiting for help doing that, I saw that they had started leafing out and I decided there was no rush to pull them. I thought if I just get one good flush of blooms and then prune them back hard afterward and allow the rest of the garden bed to grow up around them to disguise them, I could be happy with that. So I still have them. And last summer they were much better because someone told me about alfalfa pellets and what a difference that made and I didn't have to cut them back hard. So now I want to try a few more.

    Someone did point me to HelpMeFind and that is a great resource. There's just SO MANY! I am trying to use the member favorites and ratings to make a list, but I see a lot of favorites, that are not disease resistant, so I assume that people get what they love and spray? So now I am just looking at the photos and comments.

    I am looking at Pickering. I will try Palatine. I assume that I should not be looking at rose companies on the West coast, like Heirloom or Rogue Valley, right? My three priorities are Disease Resistance, Fragrance and Repeat Bloom and everything else is less important.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It helps. :-)

  • kentstar
    13 years ago

    Heirloom and Rogue Valley would still be great sources for roses for you. They are two wonderful companies that are passionate about their roses too. And, I beleive, that Rogue Valley bought a lot of Paul Zimmermans roses. Paul
    's roses are exceptional quality too. So, don't rule out those two sources also.

  • zack_lau z6 CT ARS Consulting Rosarian
    13 years ago

    Research is especially important for the organic gardener. I'd suggest visiting the CT rose site and reading the list of recommended roses. Z6 in New England is different from the Midwest because we get 4 inches of rain precipitation a month--this is perfect for fungal diseases. Lots of us also get lots of freeze/thaw during winter--this is actually harder on roses than colder temperatures that don't thaw out. But, we get enough cold for old garden roses that won't bloom in warmer climates, so we can grow just about anything except Teas and Noisettes, with proper winter protection.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Rose culture in New England

  • mad_gallica (z5 Eastern NY)
    13 years ago

    The midwest is less humid than the east, so fewer disease problems. It also tends to have much hotter summers, so less vigorous/smaller roses do better. The problem with the west coast own-root suppliers is that they tend to send what could be more accurately described as 'rose kits' rather than a finished product. That can cause real problems in less than ideal circumstances.

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    13 years ago

    Try to get your roses shipped and planted early enough in spring so they have a chance to begin growing and establishing roots before the hot weather arrives. A small own root or late planted bare root is more susceptible to diseases and planting stress than one planted earlier.
    I get my bare roots in mid to late March and own roots in early to mid April. Hilling soil over the bare roots protects them from drying out and from late freezes. New spring growth has a natural antifreeze that protects it from late frosts. Placing a bucket or other cover on an own root overnight when frost is predicted will protect it. Once established in the spring/summer, a west coast or other warm climate grown plant will acclimate to your colder growing zone and behave as if it was always grown there.
    Spraying with diluted fish emulsion will coat the leaves giving some disease protection while supplying a good growth fertilizer.
    Organic insect control can take a few years to obtain, as you allow preditory insects to thrive in your garden.
    Remember, they need food and won't come until they have something to eat, so expect some insect damage before you have a balanced garden.

  • sunandshadow
    13 years ago

    I picked up two roses from Giant Eagle, of all places, last year, and I've been extremely happy with them. They were blooming so I got to see the color, shape, and size of the flowers as well as smell them.

  • carol6ma_7ari
    13 years ago

    Prairiemoon, I too am in New England and fell in love with roses late in life. I went to the library and took out all the rose books, and learned enough to know what would work near the ocean (rugosas) and what could stand partial shade (Zephyrine Drouhin) and then visited rose gardens in order to see other roses in bloom. Found a lipstick-red rugosa (Robusta) in Texas but ordered it from upstate NY. Found r. alba semi-plena in a book and got it mail-order.
    The book photos helped me more than the internet pix.

    You should try to travel to some rose gardens during bloom time. The one near Hartford CT is probably the closest, but there are other mixed floral gardens all down the east coast worth seeing, for helping you select roses. Yes, I agree that seeing them in person - especially SMELLING them - makes the difference.

    And don't select your varieties by 2009 performance in New England. It was so wet and rainy that my noisette buds simply rotted away. (But they rebloomed beautifully in August.)

    My only concern about ordering from the Canadian nurseries is: how long does it take to get them through customs? And how much extra does that cost?

    Carol

  • diane_nj 6b/7a
    13 years ago

    Carol, the Canadian nurseries that ship to the US have the requisite permits and phytosanitary certificates, so there is no delay in shipping. Whatever cost they have incurred is built into their price.

  • ceterum
    13 years ago

    If you garden on the east cost, to order from the Canadian nurseries is actually more cost effective than to order from the west cost of the USA. It is the same problem as from those on the west coast who find the shipping cost from RU (SC) prohibitive. Potted plants shipped across the country tends to be very expensive, with the few exceptions of the specials of Vintage bands. Shipping is expensive as soon as you ship dirt beside plants.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    kentstar, I did go over to the Rogue Valley and saw Paul Zimmerman's roses. I take it he used to own Ashdown Roses that is now out of business. I have seen that company mentioned in posts. I will keep them on the list, thanks.

    zack, thanks for the link to the CT Rose Society. Lots of helpful info and I see they have a recommended list. Yes, I see what you mean about the rain we get. I think I fall into that category of freeze/thaw cycles too.

    mad gallica, I will have to read the websites of the west coast suppliers to see what the 'rose kit' is all about. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Karl, Pickering was suggesting early April, but I will change to an earlier time for shipping when I order. If you have them sent in mid to late March, and I am in 6a, then I imagine I need to receive them early to mid March. Thanks for the other suggestions too.

    carol, that's a good idea. I haven't actually taken any rose books out of the library yet. I will have to ask you later which are some of the best rose gardens to visit. Pickering was quoting $16. for shipping for 3-4 roses.

  • dublinbay z6 (KS)
    13 years ago

    Sixth, you only get a glimpse of the rose at the nursery. You can see a few blooms but you don't know how hardy it is, how often it blooms, whether it will have disease problems once planted, how big it will get, or how well it will do in your area. The nursery employees often can't tell you much

    This is the problem I run into when I try to shop locally. However, once I lucked out. Wal-mart had many, many roses baking half to death out there on its concrete parking-lot "nursery." Most pathetic lot of roses you've ever seen. They looked so sad that I wanted to adopt one--even though I knew that was not a good idea. Then, in the midst of that pathos, I spotted the HT Elle--very dry, but robust and healthy looking. I figured if it could survive so well in those abusive conditions, it must be one terrific rose, so I bought it without knowing anything else about it. Was I relieved when I got home and began researching it and found out how good it is. It is still one of my best roses today (several years later).

    But I much prefer researching first and then buying--which usually means doing it all online.

    Kate

  • mad_gallica (z5 Eastern NY)
    13 years ago

    Karl, Pickering was suggesting early April, but I will change to an earlier time for shipping when I order. If you have them sent in mid to late March, and I am in 6a, then I imagine I need to receive them early to mid March.

    No, no, no. Karl is in the midwest. They have a different climate there. It warms up earlier in the spring, gets hotter in the summer, and then, comparatively speaking, gets very cold during the winter. They have main season roses weeks before we do.

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    13 years ago

    No,no,no Karl orders for early delivery of bare roots because he will plant as soon as he can work the soil. A dormant bare root planted in cold soil will stay dormant until the soil temperature rises. I've found this to be a great place to store early received dormant roses.
    I'll work out doors with a heavy coat and warm gloves as soon as I can. The exercise keeps me warm and thin.
    By mid to late March, if the soil is still frozen, I pot and start them in my unheated greenhouse. By then the daytime temps on a sunny day will get into the 80s and not drop below freezing at night. My potted bare roots will be blooming by the end of April/early May.
    I try to get my spring bushes as soon as I can "safely" plant or pot them.
    If a bare root begins to leaf out early and a hard freeze or frost is forecast, I simply place a bucket or other cover over it that night. A light freeze or frost is no problem as the bush can handle them with no damage.
    As often as many refer to their new roses as babies, we must remember they are not. They're plants and Mom Nature takes care of them.

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    13 years ago

    Knowing when to start my spring gardening is due to years of experience and trial and error. Everyone must know the climate in their area and react accordingly. My being able to successfully get away with what I do, doesn't mean anyone else can.
    You have to know your garden and personal micro climate.
    I pass on my experiences as a guide, not as a hard fast rule every one can or should follow.
    Conditions 50 miles, north, south, east, or west of me can be quite different.

  • mad_gallica (z5 Eastern NY)
    13 years ago

    By your logic, Karl, then why don't you have the bareroots delivered now? Then you will have them when the ground is ready to work.

    Pickering wants to send the roses at the beginning of April because that is usually the right time to plant them. The snow is gone, and the frost is coming out of the ground. It might still be a bit mushy, but generally defrosted. In mid-March, there is still snow on the ground and/or everything is frozen solid.

    Basically, you are making the same mistake Prairiemoon is making - you look at the zone and think that tells the entire story. It doesn't. There is the entire gulf between a fairly pure Continental climate and a Maritime climate to contend with.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Dublinbay, I do that all the time. Head to the nursery toward the end of the hot summer months and see what is looking really good. I figure the same thing, that if it can survive nursery care thru the hot months, then it can tolerate what I'm going to throw at it. [g] It has worked out that way too.

    mad gallica and Karl, it is my miscommunication at fault here. It was actually not Pickering who suggested April as much as a date we arrived at after discussion. The person I spoke with at Pickering didn't know the best date in my area, but said the ideal time was as soon as the ground was ready to be worked, even if there was still wintry weather due. So that the result was that the bare roots would break dormancy naturally with the climate changes.

    Here in my garden, it is not hard and fast. Some years, I can actually sow pea seeds on Saint Patrick's Day and other years, there is snow on the ground into April.

  • zack_lau z6 CT ARS Consulting Rosarian
    13 years ago

    I order mine for mid March, but like Karl, I don't mind gardening when it is cold. There are really only two months out of the year when I don't garden--January and February, unless you count pulling evergreen weeds when the weather is unseasonably warm. Sometimes it is a little early and I do have to wait for the ground to thaw, but the roses don't mind waiting in a bucket of water.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    I would have to add the month of December as a non gardening month. I am ready to be finished with the garden actually before Thanksgiving because there are other things to focus on at that point. And December takes the whole month to concentrate on Christmas. But I am ready to be out in the garden in March for sure. I would rather work in March than July. [g]

    I asked if I should put them in water if I had to wait and Pickering adviced putting them in the refrigerator in the plastic they arrived in and not putting them in water because it pulls the nutrients out of them. Thought I'd pass that along.

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    13 years ago

    I don't order for delivery now as I can still expect 1/12 months of frozen soil and couldn't get them planted. I'd have to store them in a refrigerator until then.
    I stated I have them delivered in mid to late March when I can work the soil or pot them in my unheated greenhouse.
    Potting now is not an option in an unheated greenhouse where night time temps fall to that of the outdoors. Because it's so cold and there is no residule heat in it, the soil in all the pots stored in there now is frozen solid.
    Shipping now is chancey as some roses can get damaged in transit if not keep in the proper environment. This is especially true of own root bands. The tiny heater in the cold frame in the greenhouse comes on during these single digit nights we're experiencing so it gets really cold in there. But, my overwintering rooted cuttings are looking good.

  • Prettypetals_GA_7-8
    13 years ago

    Karl, so I don't have to start a new thread could I ask a question? Should I plant my bareroots here in NW Ga maybe in Feb? I was going to wait until April because I had a hard time with them drying out until you suggested I cover them up with soil and let mother nature do her thing to uncover them. I believe that is what saved lots of my bareroots from last year. Sorry to hijack this thread prariemoon! Judy

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Judy, go for it! :-)

  • justapeeker
    13 years ago

    Yeah for all of us Mass rose growers. Your on the South Shore, somewhere near B town ? zone 6 is a dead give away your in that area somewhere.

    Best feed back from a local GW poster for your zone: Look up Via GW search log in name or find a maybe in Antique froum thread from York Rose, she has some real deal and awsum zone grown rose pixs and can give you some ideas, althou I hadn't seen her post alot latly but hey it's winter right.

    Good news for you: At least York is not going to cross talk you into total bordom like some others on your thread.

    Then theres The Roseman, He's in Carver he's got a few roses too, both growing and some for sale has a webb site sales dept. online catalog sorces and such easy emailings for questions pretty fast to respond. Can you imagine it thoug there one of them typical NE folks nice to met good to talk to on the up and up type. Ohh yeah you are one of them too.

    Next is R.I. Rodger Williams Park you can get to there webb page via the Rosemans webb page (at the bottom of this)

    You can win any bet right now that I did in fact save the best in all of this USA for last.

    Hands down there is no better, bigger and older rose garden than the Ct. Elizabeth gardens.

    Some bad news Problem with CT and RI they don't sell a whole lot of roses to anyone CT has a test growing garden too meaning things to come can be seen ahead of time sneek peek in a sence Good news is any of these three gardens can give you better bare root planting insturctions than the debate team also seen on thread.
    Sometimes it helps to just read the forum: Cause from what I undertsand if someone wanted to bare root plant a rose in early fall they would do it then too and just add some extra winter protection.

    If your into graveyards and roses there might be a rose in one of them that could use some help as well.

    The friends of roses would like to say thank you for your efforts and send you a great growing season.
    From me
    Don't foooget to feed the meteahh when you pahhk yahh cahh in haaavaad yaaad.


    Here is a link that might be useful: The Roseman

  • Prettypetals_GA_7-8
    13 years ago

    Hi Prairiemoon! I think I probably will call and get them to jump up my order a month or so early. Not sure what "justapeeker" is trying to say but kinda sounds a little rude when people are just trying to give you some advice but they do have some pretty roses when you click on their link. Just how it sounds to me so I hope i'm wrong. I have purchased a bunch of roses online and a bunch at some of our nice nurseries plus some from our local Home Depot and Lowes and I have had good and bad from all places but I believe it was my own hands fault and not any fault of the rose suppliers. If I sadly lose one I replace it with something else and hope I do a better job at keeping it alive. Good luck choosing your roses and just have fun with it. Take care, Judy

  • sc_gardener
    13 years ago

    Roses are way cheaper ordering online. The quality is better, even the roses in the largest pots available, the roots are chopped. The grafted roses I buy from pickering are not chopped.
    Although I have gotten severaly chopped roots from other marginally rated suppliers. (won't name)
    And forget about finding own root in any nursery, yeah right. Don't even waste your breath, no one will know what you are talking about.
    Online is the way to go.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    justapeeker, no need to worry, I am actually the kind of person who loves all this input and advice. That was the reason I posted. :-) I am really beginning at the beginning and all of it is new to me. Thanks for identifying the person on the forums who would be growing roses in my zone, I will be sure to look for her posts. I will really use the links and I think I have a few roadtrips in my future. [g] Thanks ....

    Judy, I'm sorry I think you misunderstood my 'go for it!'. I meant go ahead and ask your question, it's no problem. I certainly wasn't offering advice on when to purchase your roses, since I know less about roses than anyone else on the forum...lol

  • york_rose
    13 years ago

    Why do you buy from a catalog instead of in person?

    For myself, I'd rather purchase from someone I trust to grow roses responsibly - that is to say, someone who cares enough about their product to make the effort to grow them virus-free.

    That isn't easy to do, and the mass marketers never, ever bother to do that.

    I don't trust the companies that supply the local garden centers to grow roses that won't display rose mosaic virus two years from now (when RMV often finally appears if it's going to do so).

  • york_rose
    13 years ago

    Then you should be considering the hardier Hybrid Musks, and I can guarantee you that if you ask about Hybrid Musk roses at any local garden center, even if you ask the managers, all you'll get will be bewildered looks from people who have never heard of Hybrid Musk roses before.

  • york_rose
    13 years ago

    That's precisely why the local garden centers aren't a good source of help. There's just too much "rose stuff" to know, and there are too many other landscape needs, and other plants to sell for local garden centers to offer anything much beyond whatever's being pushed this year.

  • york_rose
    13 years ago

    york_rose is a he.)

    ;)

    I don't have any rose pictures posted here or anywhere else. In other threads I've linked to posts of Celeste's & Olga's, but those pictures belong to Celeste & Olga, not me.

  • karl_bapst_rosenut
    13 years ago

    Pretty Petals,
    Plant your bare roots in February if you can work the soil. Just make sure you have ample moisture in the soil. By April or early May, they should already have flower buds.

  • Prettypetals_GA_7-8
    13 years ago

    Thanks a bunch Karl! I will change my delivery date. Judy

  • ceterum
    13 years ago

    Of course, even if you ask shipping from Pickering in February, it might happen that due to the rough weather they cannot ship before early March, except if you are willing to pay for extra for delivery by air.

  • luxrosa
    13 years ago

    Prarie Moon,

    Is there a rose society near where you live?
    After moving to this state, I saved hundreds of dollars, within 3 months of joining our local rose society after asking a rosarian there to look over my "wish list" of roses and she crossed off the names of roses that have failed to thrive in our area.
    She also gave me the names of the 2 best rootstocks that perform well in our soil and climatic conditions.

    I believe that local information is always the best when planting roses. I visited the rose society 2-3 times before joining and no one pressured me to join, and the folks there were happy to meet another person who loves roses.

    I've also had great success after making a list of the roses that I saw were the healthiest in a local public no-spray rose garden that is c. 7 miles from my garden, where the soil and climatic conditions are the same.
    I've grown more than 200 different roses, and only c. 7 failed to thrive, each of those were all the ones that I bought with no local reccomendation and did not study them in a nearby garden. A lovely rose named 'Ducher' had even received the Earthkind designation for disease resistance, (it was tested in Texas) but it defoliated from powdery mildew in my cool climate coastal garden.

    Best wishes to you, and your rose garden,
    Luxrosa

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Sorry, I didn't realize there were more posts here. York Rose, thanks for all your input and good to know you are a 'he'. :-) Your reasons for not ordering local makes a lot of sense. I am looking at the Hybrid Musks and I love the links to Celeste and Olga's posts. Gorgeous rose photos! I'm planning an order to Pickering soon.

    ceterum, thanks for that info about extra shipping costs. I won't be ordering them for delivery before March.

    luxrosa, I did look for Rose Societies near me. I found a New England chapter and have been looking over their website. I was surprised and disappointed to see that the majority of members spray and are not organic growers, that many of their recommended roses are hybrid teas and that there's been discussion about getting roses to trial from J&P. At least that is what I came away with from their website. Since I am an organic grower and the last rose I would buy would be a hybrid tea, I doubt that I could find the help I need there. I will keep my eyes open for another group though. It was a good suggestion. Sounds like it worked out well for you. thanks :-)

    I am preparing a list of potential roses that I am interested in and will be posting to see if anyone has any advice on different varieties soon. Thank you all for sharing your experiences with me. I have already learned a lot and can see I have a lot to learn. :-)

  • york_rose
    13 years ago

    I have already learned a lot and can see I have a lot to learn.

    It couldn't become an addiction if you could figure it all out in just a short time, would it?

    ;)

  • Cindy Ehrenreich
    13 years ago

    Prairiemoon- there is also a rose society on the cape. You might enjoy this group. While I'm sure most of them spray, they're are not only interested in HTs. Austins are quite popular on the cape & I know the garden they care for in Harwich has a varied selection of rose classes (not just HTs.) If you're not too far from the cape you might want to check them out.

  • laccanvas
    13 years ago

    No.

    I hate it.

    I am always left disappointed when I see the same roses from the same company in the same color.

    I love my rose reference books and being able to research them online.

  • kittymoonbeam
    13 years ago

    I agree. Its hard to know what the rose is going to do when you see it sitting there at the nursery. All the tags tell you that each one is wonderful and so forth. Even a great rose will not grow well in a bad spot or may have a bad year due to weather or pests. Maybe you happened to get a bad plant. What can you do except try? Colors will be a little different than described and for me the plants are always larger than the book or label says. Some plants poke along for a few years and then magically take off once established. Then there is the matter of rootstocks which change the way the plant grows. Huey roots grow well for me in so cal but I have to worry about virus and larger sized plants than if they were own root plants.

    What I do these days is grow the mail ordered own root plants when I can. I like the shapes of the plants and they seem to give more new shoots each year. I try to get a virus free plant whenever I can. The small "twiglets" require patience to get going but in my garden, they surpass the grafted ones I can get at the nursery after only a few years. That being said, I still buy the random rose at the nursery just to try it. If I love it, I will usually try to get a virus free one from the mail order later.

    Getting advice here is the best thing I ever did. Years before I came here, I read a book, got all excited about once blooming antique roses, spent a small fortune mail ordering a bunch of them, waited 4 years and never got one flower. They don't bloom here. It's not cold enough. They are now happily living next to a pretty cabin in Big Bear. You will always have roses that did not meet your expectations and hopefully there will be a growing number of ones that are favorites.

  • Zyperiris
    13 years ago

    I want to put in a good review of Roses Unlimited. True, I do HATE her website..but she is very nice to talk to. I am just now learning to appreciate mail order roses. After a time of being a rosarian..things start to become clear. Like the roses available being the "Rose" of the moment..the popular one of the time. Many roses are simply not available at the retail store.