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How Do You Purchase / Find your Roses?

Karen R. (9B SF Bay Area)
May 20, 2018
last modified: May 20, 2018

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?

Comments (5)

  • poseidonprincess

    I’ve been in love with roses since I was a child but am now getting the chance to properly try my hand at growing them myself. After a false start last year buying hybrid teas and not understanding their needs in my cold climate, I’ve started over from scratch with hardier plants. I’m grateful for a big box store like Walmart carrying plants at a reasonable price (especially after my three starter roses all died). The price between a Walmart plant ($9-12) and a Sheridan Nurseries plant ($25-30) is bonkers to me. I’m just happy that I can buy & care for a rose with limited means. I’m quite fascinated with sturdy, fragrant R. Rugosas right now & the fact that I can propogate plants off the bushes I’ve seen growing around my neighbourhood (there are two massive bushes, quite ignored, next to a bus stop). When I’m a little more settled financially and also in my own house, I look forward to going nuts with climbers, old roses and a few hybrid teas that I could winterize securely (I’d like to buy from a nursery like Palatine Roses).

  • barbarag_happy

    When I started all my roses were purchased bare-root and planted in the fall. I was in central Ohio then and grew a lot of shrubs and some antiques in addition to modern roses. I purchased from a nursery in northern Ohio owned by Ernest Vash called Historical Roses; he had a lot of species and Buck roses. My rose club used to make a group order from what is now Palatine Nursery in Canada; two members used to drive up there since they did not ship! This was in the early 70's.

    Now I'm in the south, I'm purchasing shrubs, teas, noisettes and Chinas from Roses Unlimited in South Carolina, and from Antique Rose Emporium in Texas. Even in this climate it requires a lot of patience to grow these roses on, 2-3 years before you have a nice bush.

    I have no patience with poor quality or misidentified roses; I like these two because I know I'll get good roses. They also have been great about answering questions about specific varieties.

  • Ashley (Idaho zone 5b)
    My first roses were three Raspberry Cream twirl bareroot/own root roses I got mail order from Northland Rosarium a few years ago, they were so green and healthy and took off like crazy. I also bought Folksinger and Quietness as gallons from heirloom roses, they were tiny green babies when they arrived, but so healthy too. I then planted a Pretty in Pink Eden I got at Lowe's, and a $3 clearanced red knockout, and a $15 potted Chicago peace I found at Home Depot.
    Oh I can't forget my Francis Meilland rose, that scent mmmmm.

    Everything has taken off! Gardening is so fun.

    Last spring I planted David Austin roses Abraham Darby and James Galway that I ordered bareroot, and a 5 pack of "rainbow of roses" bareroot roses that were on sale for like $13 total shipped- those have all taken off too. And I found Eden at Lowe's last June and planted that too, it took off in its first year and looks amazing this spring.

    Wether they are own root or grafted they thrive in my zone 5 garden and I do zero winter protection.

    This year while I still love my roses and they're gearing up for their best season yet, I'm now obsessed with daylilies and irises. I have the gardening bug and can't help myself I have three new roses I just planted- summer romance and Dark Desire, and Canyon Road, all about $8-$15 each I got from Lowe's and a grocery store.

    Oh I forgot I also grow miniature roses. My first one was from the grocery story I got for mother's Day in 2016 I think. I've since added a white one and purple/magenta ones. Wish I knew the variety names they are gorgeous too.

    So let me count... that's 21 roses in total I think. And I always want more ☺️
  • Windwaker (8a) AR

    Ashley, your bouquet is gorgeous! Which are the roses in its photo?

  • Ashley (Idaho zone 5b)
    Thank you, I love cutting flowers to bring inside!

    Quietness, Eden, Pretty in Pink Eden, and Chicago Peace

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