Where to buy Old Port in USA

wcthomasJuly 13, 2014

My lovely wife of 24 years passed away last month and I flew her to her native Ireland to be laid to rest alongside her mother as she wished. While in Ireland I bought an Old Port rose bush and planted it at her birth home. Her favorite wine was Port and she loved fragrant roses, and amazingly her name was Katy and the registered name for Old Port is Mckati. It was also bred in 1990, the year we met, so this was meant to be.

I now want to plant this rose at our house in Virginia. I have been searching online for US sources but have not found any yet for immediate shipment. Can anyone help with a US source for this beautiful rose? If not available in the USA, is it legal to import them from Australia or England?

Thanks so much for your help!


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view1ny NY 6-7

TomVA, I can't help you find Old Port but just wanted to say how sorry I was to hear about the loss of your wife. I hope that you do find this rose & that it gives you some comfort.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:53AM
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Rogue Valley Roses has it listed 4 sale & they have a good mail order reputation.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rogue Valley link

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:30AM
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seil zone 6b MI

So sorry for your loss, Tom. I think planting these roses is a wonderful tribute. It's a beautiful rose. Rogue Valley shows the band plant in stock. It will be small but with patience and good care should grow to be a lovely rose. If you need any help with how to care for it, please, don't hesitate to come back and ask us. We'd be very glad to help.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:49PM
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poorbutroserich(Nashville 7a)

I believe Burling of Burlington Roses has it on her list too!
I believe I bought it from her and it is thriving in my garden. What a wonderful way to memorialize your wife.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:15PM
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Thank you all for your kind words and advice. I wrote to Burlington and asked for availability.

I also saw that Rouge Valley had the "band" plant in stock, but I didn't know what that was. Can band plants be planted out now or should I pot up and wait until Spring? Or maybe buy two and try both approaches?

My Virginia home is in the Blue Ridge Mountains at 2,600 feet, zone 6b. Summer temperatures rarely ever hit 90, and the first frost is expected in early October. Winter low temperatures are in the single digits but rarely go below zero.

Thanks again!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:40AM
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jasminerose4u, California(9b)

Hello Tom:
This rose is a wonderful way to remember your wife and to have a connection with her place and the rose in Ireland. I hope it brings you much comfort.

Someone from a cold zone can answer about if it is possible to protect the band through winter. But I wanted let you know that with Rouge Valley Roses, and probably Burlington too, you can order now and specify what shipping date you want. I tried to gave a link to a site where you figure out your safest day to ship, but this site blocked me from adding the link. If you do a web search for "first and last freeze date by zip code", you will find it. I'm sure customer service at Rouge Valley Roses or Burling could assist you too. Both are good sources.

Best regards,


    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:20PM
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frances_in_nj(z6 NJ)

Dear Tom, I am so very sorry for your loss.

I too am in zone 6, though not sure if I'm 6b or 6a. From your description of your climate, it sounds pretty similar to mine, except we do often get much hotter than 90. And of course last winter was unusually cold (strings of below zero days).

In any event, I often buy bands around this time (usually as my birthday present to self) - and in fact I have 2 replacements of incorrect roses coming from Rogue this week. I have never lost a one over the winter. Here's my technique:

Unless the plant arrives REALLY huge, I never plant a band directly in the garden - I find the little bands just get swamped by bigger plants. Instead, I give the band a few days to recover from shipping. Then, I get a 1-gallon pot, fill it with a good organic (no chemical fertilizer) potting mix, and plant the band in said pot. I use a trick I learned from Northland Rosarium, which is to put the band, pot and all, in the big gallon pot, then fill in with the soil, then pat down. Now, slip the band pot out - you'll have a perfectly band-shaped hole in the pot. Then, gently slip the rose out of its pot, and pop it into the perfectly-sized hole, and fill in and firm in with soil. This minimizes root disturbance and shock to the little rose. In its gallon pot, the rose can grow on through the rest of the summer, putting on roots and size. You just have to be careful to keep it watered and fertilized (I give it a handful of slow release organic stuff like Alfalfa meal or Rose tone about a week after potting, and that's it for the summer. No chemicals its first year!)

Now, to get it through the cold winter! Come fall, usually close to around when we get first frost, I clean out my veggie garden. Then, I dig a hole, and sink the potted-up rose in. I sink it in so the entire pot is underground, up to its lip, but the plant is sticking out. Then, once the cold really starts to set in, I put a blanket of leaves over the plant. Its ok to let the top of the plant stick out, but I like to cover the bottom few inches with leaves, just in case we have super-cold.

I have been using this technique for many years, and have yet to loose a rose. The only worry is if you have voles or mice who might get under the leaf cover - in which case you might want to add some kind of repellent like shavings of stinky soap, etc. I brought all my last-year's birthday roses through our brutally cold past winter, so I feel like this technique is pretty reliable! In the spring, you can dig out the plant, maybe let it grow on a bit more, and then plant it out in late May or early June.

All best wishes,


    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 9:33AM
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I was touched by your story.what a terrific way to keep loved ones memory alive! I'm sure your wife loves this idea

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 12:17AM
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seil zone 6b MI

I agree with Frances' advice completely, pot it up and let it grow bigger before trying to plant it in the ground. Sinking it into the ground is a great way to winter protect it too. Next spring if it's large enough then you can go ahead and plant it in the ground.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 5:44PM
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Thank you Frances for the detailed instructions on planting bands. I just ordered two bands from Rouge Valley for delivery next week.

If I understand correctly, I will pot these bands up into one gallon containers, keep them watered and fertilized, and set them outdoors in a sunny location until October. Then bury the potted plants in my garden, mulch the first several inches, and leave them through winter. Come spring I can dig up them up, remove the pot, and transplant into their final location.

I also have a home in central NJ, so I'll plant one there and one here at my Virginia home.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:07PM
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frances_in_nj(z6 NJ)

You are very welcome, Tom! Your understanding is correct. As I said, I have used this approach for many years and never lost a little rose yet! I hope it'll all work out as well for you. Please send us an update in spring. If you are inclined to take pictures, I'd love to see photos of your Old Ports next year!

All best,


    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 4:05PM
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