Review of all the mail order roses
I added about 50 roses this year - a Rose Binge, for sure. I'm in recovery (I think) for awhile. I thought I'd pass on my experiences with the nurseries that shipped to me. I should add that I do believe in buying local - and one of our best local nurseries had some surprises such as Sally Holmes and Jeannie Lajoie (own root). Large, healthy plants. That said, here are my personal perceptions of the companies that I ordered from. In some cases only a couple of roses; in others a dozen or so. The list is long because, well, I wanted some hard-to-find roses. My orders arrived from March until this week. Something else to bear in mind - these were often shipped a long, long way (to Idaho).
Edmunds: Best of the bare-roots. Very large, exceptional plants. Very, very quick delivery.
Pickering: Very nice bare-roots. Some - which they told me on their website - were less in size than others. Quick delivery.
Hortico: The size of the smaller Pickering bare-roots. Quick delivery.
Local Farm Supply Store: a pleasant surprise. Not bare-root box store bags, but soil-in-box plants. Picked up a Hansa and Morden Sunrise - both of which are doing great.
Northland Rosarium: Smaller plants in quart-sized containers. Received them four weeks prior to my requested delivery date. Therefore, I transplanted them into gallons and baby-sat them for a month prior to planting (to miss hard frosts). Not too thrilled with all that. However, the plants were OK.
Roses Unlimited; OK plants. One gallon containers, but not a lot of root growth. They've been doing fine in the ground. Delivered when they said they would.
Antique Rose Emporium; Great, great packing. Two gallon containers with large own-root plants. No leaves upon arrival (removed before shipping or kept in cold storage), but doing very well in the ground now. Excellent root structure. A couple of them looked like two year old plants. Impressive. Pricey with the shipping. Delivered when I asked.
Chamblees; Exceptional rose plants in one gallon containers. Simply great little plants. Delivered when I asked.
High Country Roses; Exceptional rose plants in quart containers. While small, they had great root structure and strong top growth. A very pleasant surprise. Delivered when I asked.
Rogue Valley; Lost my order. Then, when we communicated, I was informed my varieties were no longer available in one gallon. Got two "bands" on quart containers instead. Tiny plants. No root structure to speak of (the root ball fell apart at planting since there were not roots to hold it together). And, very pricey for toothpick roses.
Best bare-root - Edmunds. Exceptional.
Best Small Plants - High Country. Can't say enough about these robust little plants.
Best Value - Chamblees. Great plants. Great price.
If you can afford it - Antique Rose Emporium. Just outstanding own-root plants. Large. Ready to jump-start the growing process.