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How Do You Purchase / Find your Roses?

Karen R. (9B SF Bay Area)
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago

My buying habits have changed significantly over time. Curious about yours!

Once upon a time, about 7 years ago, as someone who never grew a rose in my life (nor much of anything else), I suddenly got this bug to try my hand at a few roses. Purchased the first two at a local nursery - bought cl. Aloha and Angel Face. It only took a few months to figure out that roses grew well in my climate and soil, and I decided I wanted to add a few more.

At that time, as we were just coming out of the recession which hit my family hard, and finances were tight. I was amazed that roses, that cost $20-$30 at a nursery, could be bought from $4 - $7 at Lowes and Home Depot (and sometimes less). I spent a lot of time shopping there for roses, for 3-4 more at a time, I got up to 10 roses, then 20, and kept on going. I learned about the late winter/spring bareroots, and was amazed that anything I put in the ground, no matter how shabby it started out - as long as it started out green, thrived. I'd have fun grabbing the occasional dead-rose-walking - found in the $1, $2 rack right before they got tossed. Bought a little carpet rose this way, a poor little green, leaf-less skeleton - now an out of control hedge that I have to cut back with hedge-clippers. By the time I got to around 80 roses, I finally ran out of options at the hardware stores - realizing I had 2 to 3 of many - like Chrysler Imperial, Crimson Glory, Blue Girl, and Fragrant Cloud (plus I started getting a little fussier).

As finances had turned around, I started trying my hand at ordering roses. It was time to try some David Austins, and some rarer, harder to find locally, roses - like Souvenir del la Malmaison, Frederic Mistral, Mme Isaac Pereire, and Amazing Grace. I also occasionally visited the many local nurseries - sometimes finding some roses that just struck-me in the moment - like Lunar Mist, Elina, Bellaroma, Sugar Moon, and cl. Chocolate Sundae. Or other times going in specifically for a rose I researched that I wanted to try - like Ketchup & Mustard, Koko Loko, and Della Reese.

Bottom line - I love every rose I have in my garden - whether I bought it for $2 or $40. If it hadn't been for the big box stores, I never would have gone haywire on roses in the first place, as I wouldn't have been able to "pay to play".

What's your story?

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