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Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Posted by reemcook 8a PNW (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 14:14

Hi folks,

Most of roses in my garden are from Ashdown, EuroDesert and Roses Unlimited. I purchased roses from them after reading rave reviews from fellow rose enthusiasts on gardening forums. I have a few "rescued" roses from local nurseries. My brother "paparoseman" gifted some of the beautiful roses and plants. :)

I have never ordered from Heirloom Roses. Please unabashedly share your experiences and views about Heirloom Roses. It will help me (and other novice gardeners) make an informed decision about ordering roses from them.

Thank you.

Reem

This post was edited by reemcook on Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 14:34


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Hi Reem! We all love your brother. :-)

It's very difficult to give an honest assessment of Heirloom right now.

The company changed hands, early in the year -- and while you don't yet see many changes to the website, I think it probable that the experienced businessman who bought it IS going to make changes.

I haven't ordered from Heirloom for -- literally -- decades. I didn't like the way they did things, and John Clements was a curmudgeonly soul, and un-helpful with problems. And there WERE problems.

But I think it makes sense to give the "new management" a chance to prove that they can be great. Plus, I know that some very experienced rosarians are working with them.

Also, "a little birdie" told me that in their "back forty," Heirloom has some REMARKABLE roses that have not been propagated recently.

If I were inclined to order roses (and particularly if I was located in the PNW) I would give them a try. I just said the same thing to a good friend who lives over in Wenatchee.

Jeri


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Once upon a time Heirloom had an enormous stock of OGRs. Looking at their 1997 catalog I see these offerings:
10 albas
12 bourbons
7 centifolias
11 chinas and hybrids
12 damasks
18 gallicas plus 11 gallicas "grown in limited quantities"
15 moss roses
5 noisettes
9 portlands
70 plus species and species hybrids
11 teas

A couple of pages of ramblers as well.

All this changed when Mr Clements introduced his own breeding program. It was of less interest to me so I purchased only a few roses after that. On the other hand, I did notice that the size of the roses improved. I think they started growing them out a bit more.

Who knows what changes will happen under a new owner?

Rosefolly


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

  • Posted by alameda 8 - East Texas (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 20, 13 at 17:14

I have ordered from Heirloom off and on for a number of years. The plants grew fine for the most part but were small - sometimes very small. I ordered this spring - they had some new things I had been wanting to try, and I was really pleased with the size of these roses! They are now growing well in pots. I am getting ready to make an order from their sale group, hoping the roses will be of the same quality.

The catalog doesnt show all the roses the website does, so better to take a look at the website.

I would give them a try, especially with their sale going on now.
Judith


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Hello,
I recently ordered 8 bands from Heirloom. The roses arrived well packaged and healthy. Two of the roses I received about two weeks ago are already growing and have formed small rose buds, in 100+ heat daily, (Las Vegas). The jury is still out regarding a final verdict as there are about 3 weeks left to the absolute "dog days" of summer. One thing I have noticed with the three orders I placed is, what their site indicated to be in stock was actually in stock, and I received the healthy plants in a timely fashion; that is always nice:)

Lynn


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

About Heirloom:

The positive: In almost 2 decades of ordering from them, but not every year, I have never, never received a mislabeled rose. The only other nursery about which I can say as much is Greenmantle. I am not rich, I have to budget to afford my rose habit, so true to name is very important for me. I know most nurseries will cheerfully replace mislabeled roses, but often the replacement arrives at a time which is less than optimum for planting in my climate. I am willing to eat the loss if the nursery is in its last year of operation, and possibly short of staff (Sequoia) or otherwise having difficulties (Vintage these last few years), but when a nursery is, or appears to be, well capitalized and thriving, and the mislabels are an ongoing issue, not just the occasional error, I am not happy.

Also positive: Heirloom took over the remnants of the Eurodesert collection, and, so far, does seem committed to propagating and offering for sale even the very rarest roses from that magnificent collection.

Negative: Heirloom sends out very small plants, no more than 6-9 months old. When I lived in CA, where fall planting is best practice, I used to order from Heirloom in fall to receive larger plants. In NY, I need to plant in spring or summer, and the Heirloom mini plants seem to take a looong time to grow, even with rigorous disbudding and watering. I need a plant to have formed a substantial rootball by mid-August at the latest. I have also found that Heirloom's estimates as to hardiness need to be supplemented with further research.

Purchase of the company by "an experienced businessman" sounds ominous to me, but I am a natural born cynic. If there are roses at Heirloom one wants, it might be a good idea to buy them next year, or as soon as one can.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Or, it could be that a person who knows how to run a business, and who has experienced rosarians as advisors, might just improve a business.

We don't know yet.

Jeri


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

  • Posted by zjw727 Oregon Coast 8b (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 13:37

I do NOT have decades of experience with any of this...but...

I would agree that plants I have purchased from Heirloom have ALL been on the small side. That may or may not matter, depending on other circumstances. If you are going to order from them, I would advise doing it over the phone, as I have found that LARGE numbers of things are listed online as being "out of stock" when in reality, they are available. I live about 2 hours from Heirloom, and I visit their display gardens as often as possible, with great pleasure...but the stock leans VERY heavily on the side of "modern" Hybrid Teas and Floribundas. On the other hand, I think Rogue Valley Roses, also in Oregon, has a much broader selection of Old Garden Roses. I've purchased 17 plants from them in the last year and every one of them has taken off like wildfire. They have so many beautiful Tea roses and "antique" Hybrid Teas. Like I said, your own circumstances will dictate whether or not it matters, but they send out larger plants, IMO.

PS:

Jeri, your Tales of Days Past at Heirloom are fascinating.

Zachary.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

  • Posted by zjw727 Oregon Coast 8b (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 21, 13 at 14:23

I do NOT have decades of experience with any of this...but...

I would agree that plants I have purchased from Heirloom have ALL been on the small side. That may or may not matter, depending on other circumstances. If you are going to order from them, I would advise doing it over the phone, as I have found that LARGE numbers of things are listed online as being "out of stock" when in reality, they are available. I live about 2 hours from Heirloom, and I visit their display gardens as often as possible, with great pleasure...but the stock leans VERY heavily on the side of "modern" Hybrid Teas and Floribundas. On the other hand, I think Rogue Valley Roses, also in Oregon, has a much broader selection of Old Garden Roses. I've purchased 17 plants from them in the last year and every one of them has taken off like wildfire. They have so many beautiful Tea roses and "antique" Hybrid Teas. Like I said, your own circumstances will dictate whether or not it matters, but they send out larger plants, IMO.

PS:

Jeri, your Tales of Days Past at Heirloom are fascinating.

Zachary.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I took a chance and ordered roses from Heirloom. I am concerned about one of their tenets being "no replacement" on the sale roses. I can understand that they do not want buyers ripping them off but at the same time if a rose is truly not healthy, buyers need reassurance that the company will take responsibility (i.e, stand by the product). I hope Heirloom sends me healthy and hardy plants.

I will let you folks know how things pan out.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Zachary, we rarely buy roses these days -- We have enough to deal with, finding the right sites for Found Roses. But one thing we ordered a year or so ago was Paul Barden's 'Licorice Tea,' and of course, it came from Rogue Valley Roses.

What we rec'd. was a LOVELY, well-grown plant, in a band, yes -- but a large-ish band. It was in great shape, and packaged well enough that the rose had no damage at all. I would order from them again, in a heartbeat. Besides, they are really, really nice people. Maybe that shouldn't matter, but honestly, I would rather deal with people who make the transaction pleasant.

I am told that Louise Clement is a very nice lady. I haven't met her -- but LOTS of people have told me that. John, OTOH -- well, I hope that where ever John went after he crossed that bridge he is learning to be a less-choleric soul.

I think that the sale of the nursery was a good thing for Louise. It was a lot for one older lady to deal with. And I hope that, over time, Heirloom will become a good vendor to work with -- even tho, like Zachary, I'm not particularly interested in their modern roses. :-)

Jeri


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I have been ordering from Heirloom for several years and am happy with every plant they've sent. I have been pleased with the size and health of the plants. This spring it looked like they might have sprayed something with baking soda on them but all of them have grown very well and look very good now so the spray may have done its job if that's what it was.

The general manager, Cheryl Malone, is a nice person and loves roses. This spring a friend brought a visitor to my garden from Oregon who wanted to see some rose gardens in North Carolina. She had been to the International Rose Trials in Asheville and drove all the way to my house and spent an hour or so looking around my garden and taking pictures. At the end she gave me her card, and I was astonished and surprised that it was Cheryl Malone from Heirloom! Maybe John Clements at times could be curmudgeonly but Cheryl Malone is very much a nice rose person and Heirloom appears to be in good hands as far as I can tell.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I would never have learned about OGRs if it had not been for a fortuitous outing to Heirloom planned by my DH 4 years ago. The annual sale was on- going. Would these tiny plants really become full fledged roses? Anyway, they had catalogs and rose books available and I left with 20 roses, most I had never heard of such as Dark Lady, Paul Shirville, Folksinger, Louise Odier, Madam Alfred Carrier, New Dawn, Braveheart.... One was not tagged correctly, not all that uncommon at a sale and 9 months later they replaced it promptly with a new plant. I've ordered online every year since and all the roses are doing fine.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

  • Posted by zjw727 Oregon Coast 8b (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 22, 13 at 3:27

I do NOT have decades of experience with any of this...but...

I would agree that plants I have purchased from Heirloom have ALL been on the small side. That may or may not matter, depending on other circumstances. If you are going to order from them, I would advise doing it over the phone, as I have found that LARGE numbers of things are listed online as being "out of stock" when in reality, they are available. I live about 2 hours from Heirloom, and I visit their display gardens as often as possible, with great pleasure...but the stock leans VERY heavily on the side of "modern" Hybrid Teas and Floribundas. On the other hand, I think Rogue Valley Roses, also in Oregon, has a much broader selection of Old Garden Roses. I've purchased 17 plants from them in the last year and every one of them has taken off like wildfire. They have so many beautiful Tea roses and "antique" Hybrid Teas. Like I said, your own circumstances will dictate whether or not it matters, but they send out larger plants, IMO.

PS:

Jeri, your Tales of Days Past at Heirloom are fascinating.

Zachary.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I received 3 bands from Heirloom today, July 25 for 1/2 price-sale: Jude the Obscure, Sharifa Asma, and Lyda Rose. They are super-healthy, with roots extending past the bottom of the bands. The band depth was almost 6". The top growth were between 8" and 9".

What matters is the length of the primary root, rather than the top growth. The length of Heirloom roots are quite long, same size-band as High Country Roses. When I ordered such bands from HCR in Colorado, I got a 4" bloom from Pat Austin, and blooms from other 5 bands less than a month.

The bands from Burlington are smaller & shorter than Heirloom roses, but is cheaper & also healthy. The gallon-size from Roses Unlimited have bigger top growth, but same LENGTH of primary root as Heirloom Roses (I got 6 roses from them this past June).

The biggest root goes to Chamblee's in Texas, their roots were extending past gallon-size, with multiple buds/blooms per plant (got 4 roses from them). For the sheer weight of the root ball, it was worth the shipping cost.

It doesn't matter how big the plants are, what matters is the health of the plants, and the length of primary root system. The tiny band from Burlington became 2-gallon root ball after 3 months, so I'm sure Heirloom's bigger band will become 2-gallon root ball sooner, when planted in good potting soil.

Check out the bouquet picked today, I bet you can't tell which rose were band size or gallon size, or which nursery they came from.

 photo 5b49dd3a-621d-42b5-b8ff-96d4dd050600.jpg

See picture of Lyda Rose band from Heirloom Roses:

This post was edited by Strawberryhill on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 17:08


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I also received my rose from them, good size like above, healthy looking.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I think roots are more important too , but think it's total root surface not necessarily the length. A well-rooted small plant can take off faster than a loosely rooted bigger root ball.
That's a beautiful bouquet, Strawberry!


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I bought my Lyda Rose from Heirloom back in 1998----I'm very satisfied with the rose and found them very nice to deal with------I'm sorry to say I have been remiss in keeping records of where I purchased roses -- I'm sure I have others from Heirloom but no records---
I keep records and I'm surprised that I didn't write down where they were purchased-----
Florence


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

HEIRLOOM along CHAMBLEES are my go-to nurseries for own root English Roses. My experience with them mirrors what many of the others have reported. I've always received what I've asked for in a timely manner but the plants have been smallest of any own root seller that I've used to date. For this reason I only ever order from them for spring planting immediately after the last published frost date for my area. Can't comment on their customer service as I've never needed a plant replacement. I'm hopeful the new ownership will continue to maintain the beautiful website and sell virus free guaranteed own root roses while improving the nursery's customer service reputation. I suggest we give them a chance to prove themselves.


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Followup to previous post

I should clearify that the small plant comment is for HEIRLOOM only. CHAMBLEES sells large to frankly enormous own root bands, although this is often because TWO plants are actually rooted in the pot. I don't know about you folks but I never complain about getting free roses. LOL!

Here is a link that might be useful: Chamblee Rose Nursery


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I've placed orders with Heirloom these past 4 years. I must say there has never been an issue and the roses have just grown well. I hope the new management increases the amount of OGR's they sell.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

It would be nice if Heirloom increased their offerings of OGRs. No doubt it will depend upon market response. After all, they already own the parent plants. And with both Pickering and (soon) Vintage out of the picture, the number of OGR vendors is diminishing yearly. I used to like Amity Heritage but they've been gone for several years now. I have one rose from Mendocino Heirloom Roses but that nursery has closed, too. B and B closed some time ago. I could go on...

Here in western United States we do still have several excellent OGR vendors. Off the top of my head I can list Rogue Valley Roses, High Country Roses, Antique Roses Emporium, Chamblee's, and the original OGR nursery, Roses of Yesterday and Today (grafted). Regan's, too, though they got at least some of their OGRs from Pickering so I don't know what they're doing these days. We even have a new one, Burling Leong's Burlington Nursery. Northland Rosarium in Spokane and Greenmantle in Garberville are two more nurseries with OGRs, but I have no personal experience with them.

Eastern USA has OGR nurseries, too, and quite excellent ones, but since I don't know them as well, I will leave it to eastern gardeners to list them for us. I could easily miss an important one, or list one that is no longer in business. I would not want to mislead anyone.

Rosefolly


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Is Pickering actually out of business, Rosefolly? I know that they were victims of that import fiasco where they unexpectedly had to cancel all their US orders for 2013, which had to set them back severely, but I just checked their website and they've said nothing about closing down operations. That would indeed be a sad state of affairs.

I'll add to your list of excellent OGR vendors, with the east coast addition of Angel Gardens, Long Ago Roses, Roses Unlimited, Brushwood Nurseries (mostly climbers, but some are old), and whatever the company is in Florida that sells on Fortuniana (Cool Roses?). I have nothing but positive feedback from the first four, though I can't speak to the last as Fortuniana isn't a good rootstock for my zone. Two Sisters Roses in Oklahoma has quite a few OGRs, but I've never ordered from them, and Edmunds has just a handful.

To echo the OP's original topic, I've been pleased with the service as well as roses received from Heirloom, and I've seen a noticeable increase in the size of the bands this year compared to previous years. This year there was one rose that they had to cancel from my order because it didn't make it all the way to production (these things happen), so they promptly notified me of the situation and sent me my choice of a replacement within the week. I am pleased with their service and product, and particularly pleased that they've carried on the Eurodesert line of roses that are mostly unavailable elsewhere.

Cynthia


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Just an update on the Pickering situation..... I called Pickering 2 or 3 months ago, but don't think I posted what I learned on GW. Sorry about that. Anyway I called because I'd ordered roses from them to be shipped to friends of mine in Canada as a gift. This was to at least semi-replace my order that they couldn't ship to me in California. While I was on the phone, I asked about the future possibility of those of us in the USA getting their roses shipped to us. I was told they expect to begin shipping to the USA again this fall, and if I understood correctly, this coming season will be the last one for them selling grafted plants. After that they are going own-root. I didn't ask if they still planned to sell roses bareroot or if they'd be potted (or the size if they go this route).

Melissa


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I received bands from Burlington last week. The bands have good roots, and I was happy to acquire a variety that was not carried or available from other suppliers. I have placed another order for late summer shipment:)

Lynn

This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Tue, Jul 30, 13 at 11:40


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I've been very happy with my bands from heirloom. The smallest of them haven't been any smaller that the small bands received from other vendors, and I've never received a mislabeled rose from them. Something I can't say about anyone else.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Three of the most conspicuously virused roses I have came from Heirloom. As far as I'm concerned, their "virus policy" is less than authentic.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Thanks for the update. That is very good news indeed about Pickering. I had the impression that the ban on export to the USA was more or less for the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, I was thinking of ordering some grafted roses from them. I have a couple of gallicas that are driving me crazy. I prune off a couple hundred suckers several times a season!

Rosefolly

This post was edited by rosefolly on Tue, Jul 30, 13 at 11:26


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Rosefolly, maybe you could contact Pickering and find out if the roses you are interested in will be available grafted this final year before they go all own-root. Last year, in the spring, I got the gallica Aimable Rouge from Pickering. It didn't bloom last year but this year put on a fine display. I'm glad I got it grafted (on multiflora) as I wouldn't like it to sucker in the spot its in. On the other hand Jenny Duval (own root from Heirloom around 20 years ago!) suckers like a crazy mad thing, but where I have her, this is a positive. I have a new own-root gallica, Kraskoje Kawaskole in its first year here so I don't know its suckering habit. Flowers are gorgeous as is the foliage. It's a Eurodesert Rose, and I feel lucky to have it. I got the only one Heirloom received from Vintage--the others arrived from there dead or nearly so.

Paul, which roses did you get that were conspicuously virused? And how long ago was this?

Melissa


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

  • Posted by zjw727 Oregon Coast 8b (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 2, 13 at 13:04

Speaking of this...and whether or not "heirloom" roses are really their product of focus these days, I saw this post on Facebook this morning:

Heirloom Roses: More hybrid tea roses than ever before!

Hmm.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

If their inventory begins to scew too far in the direction of Hybrid Teas, the name of their company could be considered quite deceiving, or at the very least inaccurate in the minds of many rose lovers.

Lynn


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Good afternoon,
I have appreciated all of your comments, and in response, I would like to invite you to take our customer survey. The team here at Heirloom Roses is in the midst of planning our product selection for next year as well as other programs focused at better serving our customers. I would love to get your input on specific items. The survey will only take about 5 minutes
To begin our brief survey, please click here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/heirloomroses

Thanks,

Ben Hanna
President, Heirloom Roses, Inc.
www.heirloomroses.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Heirloom Roses Survey


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

DONE!

Jeri


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Completed it yesterday:)

Lynn


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Thank you for letting us take your survey. Looking forward to good things from Heirloom in the future.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Hi Mr Hanna

I have not purchased from you so not sure if the survey is for me, but will check it out.

BUT, I have a question, I saw the photos of your bands on FB the other day and know you are not that far from where I hope to travel. If I purchase plants at your nursery, can I drive them across the border (legally) in to California?

Thanks


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Does anyone know how much Burlington charges?

The rose I got from Heirloom is already taking off, very happy with it.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Hi altorama: Burlington charges $10.95 for a band (smaller than Heirloom's) ... mostly older roses, and lots of OGR's, and $7.50 for mini-roses.

Per Heirloom bands received late July, I got buds growing from Sharifa Asma, Jude the Obscure leafing out, Lyda Rose is healthy. Will post pics. once they bloom.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I received bands from Burlington two weeks ago and from Heirloom. The bands from Burlington that I received were about the same size as what I received from Heirlloom a few days prior. It could be the time of season? They have all been healthy too. Two of my R.U. 1 gallon own root from their sale arrived without foliage but my Therese Bugnet was huge. The ones that defoliated are bouncing back; putting out new growth. I am on the western side of the country and R.U. is East, so more travel time is involved, the roses spent the weekend in some mail processing facility in the Midwest, so while it has worked out, consideration has to be taken regarding where you are relative to the growers and the time of year. It took 7 full days to receive my R.U. own root,, whereas everything coming from CA arrives in 2-3 days tops.


Lynn

This post was edited by desertgarden561 on Sun, Aug 4, 13 at 17:04


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

One thing about Burlington is that Burling has a good number of very uncommon cultivars. She has some of the really good Found Roses that NO ONE offers.

You have to ask -- but it's worth asking.

Jeri


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Regarding Burling,

She will also e-mail a list indicating what she carries and whether or not it is in stock. She is delightful but also professional.

Lynn


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Thanks for the info regarding Burlington. I did ask for an email of what they have that's available.
I have gotten lots of bands from various nurseries. I find that when I give them daily attention-water and sometimes shading from the sun, they always take off. When I was new to this I didn't really baby them for the first few weeks and I lost them. I could kick myself for killing Summer Joy and Himmelsauge.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Lynn, I didn't know Roses Unlimited shipped bands. I thought they shipped gallons. I've never ordered from them, so only know what is on their website, and the gallon size is the only one listed, and with fairly high shipping cost ($8 per plant + $5 handling fee per shipment) to California from South Carolina is one of the reasons I've never ordered from them (another is no discernible policy on rose mosaic virus). Gallons per their website, "All 1 gallon containers are $16.00 except where marked $ 17, $18, $19, $ 21, or $ 22.50." There is a minumum order of 3 plants ("or additional shipping charge will be added.."). For me the cheapest would be (3 x $16) = $48 (roses) + (3 x $8) = $24 (shipping) + $5 (handling) for a total of $77. If the roses were $22.50 each that total would go up $19.50, bringing the total to $96.50.

Just as a comparison, Burling's gallons are $17.50. Since she is in California, shipping to those on the west coast would likely be considerably less than from South Carolina.

Another comparison is with Antique Rose Emporium. It was to ARE and Heirloom I switched to buying from back in the early 1990s after getting multiple roses from Roses of Yesterday and Today, all of them!!!!! with rose mosaic virus. Made me very angry. Both ARE and Heirloom, even back then, were working to get their roses indexed/carry virus-indexed stock.

From Antique Rose Emporium's website, "ARE sells two gallon, own root antique roses for $18.95 plus shipping and handling. We do not graft or bud. These year old, own root roses have a very fiberous root system."

Shipping TWO gallon-sized roses from Texas is rather high. Their 2011 catalog was handy, and it states, "Container roses weigh approximately 8-10 pounds each. Shipping charges are based on package weight and distance shipped." The country is divided into 5 zones for purposes of shipping charges. California is in zone 4 which equals a 40% charge for shipping. I really love the big healthy plants ARE sends, but quite frankly because of the high postage, I don't order roses from them as much as I would if they sold bands where shipping would cost less. Also, I have to say the modular packaging that ARE uses is some of the best I've seen used by any nursery (of any type plant) that I've ever purchased from by mail. Slit the outer tape and no tools required to open the rest--the roses rest in compartments divided by the modular cardboard pieces, no peanuts, no tape, no giant staples to remove, and the potting soil stays in those pots!

Heirloom's packing method is right up there with ARE's--superb. Each plant comes in a band size pot, enclosed in a plastic bag with twist tie (easy to remove!), and each of these individually wrapped like a burrito in butcher block paper. No tape, staples, or peanuts, and no tools required once the outer tape has been slit. So both Heirloom and ARE get a thumbs up for ease and speed of upacking, as well as for keeping the potting soil in the pot, and for green friendliness.

Another company with excellent packing is Santa Rosa Gardens in Florida. I buy perennials from them, but no roses. They use this nifty netting over the plants to keep the potting soil in and the plants protected. Each of these is then wrapped inside brown paper, burrito style, very similar to Heirloom's. Very easy to remove. Interestingly enough, my last shipment from SRG, which arrived in June, was a little messy on the inside--had obviously been unwrapped and rewrapped, with the result some of the potting soil was disturbed. Why was this? Because the agricultural inspectors had opened the package and examined the plants, then repacked it, with a notation on the outer box that they had checked it. So for those that notice things a little amiss on the inside of the box (and not in keeping with how well/neatly a vendor usually packs), look to see if the box has been opened by the agricultural inspectors.

Btw I now photograph all shipments I receive containing plants, on arrival, both on the outside and inside. It's been very educational. I started unfortunately after ARE's last arrival back in 2011, so I don't have photos of their superb modular box design. I was prompted to do this after a disaster of a box arrived from Rogue Valley in 2011. Didn't take pics of that, which I regret, and decided because of that purchase, that all afterwards would be. The box looked smashed and thrashed in the middle. On the inside the individual bands were taped (not simply the pot), the canes themselves! to the inside of the box. Most of the potting soil was out of several. The tape on the canes I had to pry off with tweezers.:( It was time-consuming and delicate surgery, especially so as some of the bands were *minute* (Stanwell Perpetual--think of a toothpick with a few leaves, the smallest rose I've ever received from anyone). I don't know how long it took to put all that tape on, but I know how long it took me to remove, since I didn't want to destroy the plants. Horrible!!!! From reading others' accounts of orders they've received from Rogue Valley, the outer smashed boxes has continued. How much more efficient and faster it would be if RV adopted either Heirloom's burrito method or ARE's modular one.

I have lots of pictures, of what packaging (from the outside, all the way in to the plants) I've received from various vendors (both US and Canada), and if there's interest I could post in another thread. I have to say all the taking of pics has been a real learning experience for me as to what works and what doesn't. I've given thought to which methods must take much more time (or less) and how that must contribute to the costs of a nursery operation. I would be interested in seeing what methods nurseries I haven't ordered from yet use, and how others like them.

Melissa


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

The truth is that unless a rose has been tested and is listed as virus-indexed (VID), you cannot tell for sure that it is not virused. If it has the markings you know that it is, but if it doesn't, you don't know for sure that it is not. I have received unmistakably virused roses from every vendor I've ever purchased from. Yes, even Heirloom.

Having said that, RoYaT had a bad experience some years back with a firm they contracted for grafting roses. I do not know if that is still the case today. I'm thinking of getting some grafted roses from them at some point, because one of my rugosas and one of my gallicas are driving me crazy with the own-root suckering they are doing. I have not yet checked to see if they offer the ones I want. The only other source I can think of is Pickering when they return to shipping to the USA, and they are moving to own root now.

Rosefolly


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Tessies... I meant to write 1 gallon pot.

Lynn


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I ordered a grafted rose in a pot from ROYAT a couple of weeks ago. It arrived just fine in terms of the packaging, but I have to admit I expected more in terms of the plant overall; just judging by the diameter and number of the canes. If I was at a nursery purchasing roses, I would have by-passed this one. Nonetheless, it is alive and growing new leaves; it is still in its pot, and will remain there for about 4-6 weeks.

Lynn


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

My experience on the Rogue Valley shipping, box conditions were just as you described. I thought it was just my bad luck that time. I have been too wary to order since then as I dislike my bands swimming loose in the box. I do like their selection however.


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I don't agree Rosefolly. VID or VI are terms, I believe, for roses indexed at UC Davis. The Florida Southern program does not use that terminology (according to what Malcolm Manners has posted on the web). There is at least one other program that does testing at least (is it Washington State??? I forget). Do they use the VI or VID labeling?

Also, if a nursery has all their roses indexed, does that mean each rose must have an individual indicator label on it? And if so, why should they use Davis' terminology if the rose didn't go through the Davis system? Pickering virus indexes their roses but they have no VI or VID shown on individual plants in their online catalog. What about nurseries that received plants from more than one virus treatment program? List the Davis-sourced ones with VI and what then for the others? What about nurseries that didn't get some treated and/or indexed roses direct from the organization that had the program? Should these indirect sources be trusted that the rose really did go through a particular system (not necessarily which one is even listed as is the case sometimes with Vintage)???

But as to what you've received, with virus symptoms from Heirloom, I would ask you which rose (s) was it? And secondly when (what year approximatley)? I think this matters and is actually important to know. Was it last year, 5 years ago, 20 years ago or? Heirloom was beginning their rose mosaic virus program back in the early 1990s, and what they were doing was right there described in their catalog.

Just like with any company that has a warranty on a product, that doesn't mean that the product can never have a problem, what is important is what the company does about the failures, not only as to a replacement, but also how they work to prevent them in the future. I give high marks to companies that make the effort to improve their products, and also to those that disclose how they are doing so. Heirloom I feel should be praised for taking on a huge task (with so many US roses infected with rmv), at no doubt considerable expense, when many others chose to do little or nothing (even when the market was booming). That means that various rose nurseries let places like Heirloom do the heavy lifting and bear the burden of cost of testing/treatment, while they could sit back and rest on their laurels. I think it is really unfair to criticize a business that has actively sought to produce only rose mosaic free roses when this criticism benefits the nurseries that didn't help.

I have to wonder if more nurseries had a policy, decades ago, such as Heirloom's that many more roses would now be in commerce rose mosaic virus free. There could have been cooperation with one nursery testing/treating a particular rose or roses and another nursery doing others. I think if this had happened, the rose-growing public would have benefitted and become more educated. I think there would be less acceptance of virused roses and in general healthier, longer-lived roses on the market. As we've heard, from Malcolm Manners and others, roses that are clear of rmv perform better than those that are infected. How much of the difficulty in various parts of the country have gardeners had because they've bought virused roses and then been disappointed at the lack of vigor or extra care required? What about replacements needed? If sickly roses are the starting point, will people continue to buy a faulty product? Just IMHO but I think the lack of wide scale participation of rose nurseries in rmv programs has been a contributing factor in the loss of popularity of the rose as a garden plant.

Melissa


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

Melissa -- I don't know what the new Heirloom management intends -- but unless something changed radically in recent years, Heirloom did NOT have a program of testing every rose they sold.

Rather, they relied on the theory that roses grown on their own roots, FROM roses imported from Europe or the UK, were by virtue of that origin free of virus.

As we know, that simply is not the case.

They MAY have dropped a rose from their listing, after it was found with virus. OR they might have had it indexed, tested again, and put back in their list. I don't know of cases where they did that, but it may have (or may not have) happened.

What I am saying is that while I am grateful to John Clement for offering -- for a while -- a wide spectrum of old and interesting roses, I do not think that any thanks is owed with regard to the issue of virus.

I welcome the new management with open arms. But I don't have any really rosy memories about the virus policies of the OLD management.

Jeri


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

As for what rose I purchased from Heirloom that was infected with RMV, I no longer remember which one it was. I have bought an awful lot of roses over the years but I'm guessing it was in the neighborhood of ten years ago, possibly more. I would not have kept it. These days I am less likely to discard virused roses, not because I have grown any happier about the situation, but because I have come to realize that some fine roses are only available in virused form. To this day I am sure that they sold it to me in good faith, genuinely believing it to be virus free, but one cannot know for certain without testing. When I bought my first roses from them back in 1997, that policy was already well established. As a customer I had absolute faith in their guarantee. When a rose from a later order showed the unmistakeable signs of virus, I was genuinely shocked.

Until around 2001 when they de-emphasized OGRs I bought regularly from Heirloom. For several years after that I continued buying the occasional rose, mostly Austins, and pretty much based on the virus-free guarantee. These days they are selling fewer of the unusual Austins, fewer OGRs, and I no longer trust the guarantee, so it is rare for me to purchase from them. I wish them well. Hey, I wish they would bring back the kind of roses I prefer to grow so could buy from them again! It's probably too late for me. I really don't need to keep buying roses these days. The only way I would buy more than the odd rose now and then would be if we moved to a smaller place and I had to build a new garden.

Aa an aside, I was one of the people who bought the "repeat blooming La Ville de Bruxelles" which Mr Clements continued to insist really, really was the real 'La Ville de Bruxelles'. That was quite annoying. All rosarians make mistakes. All. He just refuse to admit it. Off this topic, though.

Rosefolly


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

There! Folly put it really well.

Jeri


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

I live in Oregon and have purchased many, many roses from Heirloom over almost two decades. (I used to be a garden designer.) To the best of my knowledge, in the 90's to early 2000's, the OGRs and near species that Heirloom sent me were spot on 98% of the time. Some of the Austins were probably virused, but as far as I know. all are doing just fine to this day. Clements' cultivars, in general, were good to very good when grown in PDX gardens. Heirloom's bands used to be TINY. Heirloom reps were a tad bit grumpy when I questioned the labeling of roses I ordered.

In the last 8-10 years, the OGRs in my orders have been about 95% spot on (to my knowledge). The selection of OGRs has dwindled. Maybe new owners will bulk up the antiques. My Austins have been 99.9% spot on. No signs of viruses but some are probably virused. All my Heirloom roses are doing well.

The bands that I ordered this spring are much more substantial than those ordered in the past. I am pleased. My false La Ville is blooming her head off...over and over. Nice rose, really. Very fragrant and pretty. I wonder what HP it is. I believe Paul said that he thinks that it's one of Clements' own.

Carol


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RE: Heirloom Roses: Your experience/views/verdict?

The Heirloom I got maybe a month ago had gotten quite a bit taller with two buds.


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