While we were enduring the snow and ice last week I was wondering how many gardening catalogues might arrive while I was stuck at the top of our mountain road.
Sure enough, when we finally made it to the mailbox after three days, a cheery selection was waiting for me including catalogues on wildflowers, veggie seeds, garden supplies and of course, roses.
|I'll buy more wildflowers to add to the sunny parts of the trail|
I do at least thumb through every arrival before tossing them in the recycling bin. Having written for the White Flower Farm catalogue and website for a number of years I know how much work goes into each endeavor.
Over the years I’ve learned from trial and error which companies live up to their promises and which simply offer pretty pictures and tall tales.
I’ve had good luck ordering from Bluestone Perennials, Gardens of the Blue Ridge, American Meadows and Oakes Daylilies. If I ever receive a wilted plant or one that doesn’t grow as promised from any of these companies, a fresh replacement is sent immediately, no questions asked.
As I wrote last year, for seeds, it’s hard to beat Renee’s Garden. I used to love her very attractive catalogue and the tantalizing recipes sprinkled throughout the pages. Like many companies, Renee Shepherd has moved to an online catalogue. Sign up for her free E-Newsletter and you’ll receive great garden ideas and yes, recipes!
When it comes to ordering roses by mail my advice is to definitely not believe everything you read. Several years ago I was hoodwinked more than once into ordering from a company that undoubtedly employs the world’s most persuasive copywriter.
|My first Climbing Cecile died|
Now I have several mail order favorites I can depend on without reservation, plus a wonderful new source for miniature roses and minifloras.
Richard Anthony is rose exhibitor and hybridizer who really knows his stuff. As an exhibitor he has 102 Queens of Show to his credit, including three national Queens. Last year he started For Love of Roses, a mail order company that offers 135 varieties of miniflora and miniature roses from 19 different hybridizers. He will be adding 24 more varieties next month.
One thing I love about Richard is he adds the personal touch to what can be an impersonal business. Last year I wrote to ask his advice on two roses I was considering. I explained I have a small garden and no room for a rose that is stingy with bloom. Although he was enthusiastic about the two I’d mentioned, he recommended a completely different variety. Fitzhugh’s Diamond has turned out to be a real gem for me. So I will definitely be ordering from For Love of Roses again!
|Lion's Fairy Tale|
I also plan to visit her garden and will likely come home with more than the two Kordes plants. Take a look at the Roses Unlimited website to see the amazing selection of plants she has available.
Of course need I mention David Austin English Roses as another of my go to faves? I have been ordering from them since the mid-90’s and have never been disappointed.
So now that the catalogues have come and the websites have been scoured, I am making my list and checking it twice. As far as roses, I am expecting Fighting Temeraire, Boscobel, The Lark Ascending and Heathcliff (among others!) in early April.
New perennials on the way include Centranthus ruber, Speedwell and a yellow nandina.
I’ll report the results in an upcoming posting. Although I can’t imagine there’s a great garden source I haven’t heard about, I’m happy to entertain the thought that one might exist.
In fact, perhaps some new goodies are waiting for me right now. I just heard the doorbell ring.