Roses forum: Vintage Roses SOS

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Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Colorado Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover
Apr 13, 2012 9:23 AM CST
Got this email yesterday:
Dear Friends and Customers of Vintage Gardens,

We need your support! April is not the cruelest month, yet this year sales have fallen dramatically for us. First, we want you to know that we are still here, still offering one of the greatest collections of roses in America, and we'd like to keep doing it for you!
Second, we've launched an amazing sale for this month, and we think you'll want to make the most of it. You save, you save us! It's that simple.

Visit our website. Even with a reduced number of varieties we still have more that 550 roses in stock. These aren't your run of the mill roses, but classic and old roses that can't be found elsewhere. Perhaps not to be found again, if Vintage Gardens has to close. So, take a chance on us, order some rare roses that may never be offered again, and when we can announce that we are able to continue, you'll be proud that you helped make it happen!

Gregg Lowery

From now through the month of April, leading up to our open garden season in May, you may DOUBLE YOUR DISCOUNTS for our two regular specials, the four-plant and the eight-plant orders.

When you order 4 or more plants, and provide us with 2 alternates for each 4 roses, you will receive $2 off each rose you purchase.
When you order 8 or more plants, and provide us with 4 alternates for each 8 roses, you will receive TWO FREE PLANTS in the order.

PLEASE, PLEASE NOTE: on your web orders these double discounts will not appear. We do not charge your order until it is pulled and processed, and at that time we will apply the DOUBLE DISCOUNTS.
ALSO, PLEASE NOTE: this special discount does not apply to our 10% standard discount for members of HRF, HRG, ARS, etc.

Open Garden Days!

Hosted by The Friends of Vintage Roses!

Over the past 20 years the garden built by Gregg and Phillip on Pleasant Hill Rd. in Sebastopol has been open during the month of May. This year, the new owners of this rose collection will host an open garden on Mother's Day weekend. We hope you'll join us to celebrate the beauty of the rose season, and help the Friends in their efforts to preserve these roses by offering a donation at the gate. Roses offered by Vintage Gardens will be available for sale, and you may pre-order to pick up your roses at the garden during this weekend.
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 11, 12 and 13, from 10 am to 3 pm
Where: 3003 Pleasant Hill Rd., Sebastopol, CA 95472
Please note that the garden has its pitfalls and we advise you to take caution on all pathways. Gophers create a rough terrain with their underground tunneling.

I went to their website and, as normal for me, looked at their lavender/mauve offerings. They didn't have a single one in stock.. all custom root for $45. So I guess I won't be ordering.
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)!
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses Irises Lilies
Apr 13, 2012 10:13 AM CST
I've always loved the idea of Vintage Gardens roses. There are so many roses that, it seems to me, deserve preservation and distribution. But as Zuzu pointed out recently, too frequently their advantages are hypothetical. Only rarely does a rose from VG survive the first year in my garden. And only a small portion of those survivors actually grows. So it would seem we are supporting more of a dream than a reality. It's a compelling dream, though, isn't it?

I understand why their clever use of alternates works great for them, but it really doesn't work to well for me. I need to know what I'm going to be planting in the garden. A 30 ft tall violet rambler is not interchangeable with a 2 ft tall yellow floribunda. I wish them luck, and hope they survive. Meanwhile, I have a large order of climbers and floribundas with them that should ship at the end of April. I'm planning to give those roses exceptional care (by my standards, at least). And I'm planning to mourn the passing of another very rich sources of roses. And I plan to be ready to move on.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Apr 13, 2012 10:20 AM CST
Do you have any theories for why their roses don't survive and thrive?
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses Irises Lilies
Apr 13, 2012 12:01 PM CST
My original theory was that I am a bad rose gardener. It is true, but I think my success with David Austin Roses and with Palatine Roses suggests that the fault is not all mine. I've succeeded with a lot of Antique Rose Emporium roses, but with none of their hybrid tea roses. For example, Caldwell Pink, Baronne Prevost, and Hermosa are growing vigorously in my garden right now. The latter two have survived three years of my bad care here.

So my current thinking is that most hybrid tea roses either will not grow on their own roots. Or that they will not grow on their own roots unless they are grown in very special soil that is very friable and rich in organic matter. (No native soil to any place I have ever lived). This would explain failures with a huge chunk of the roses I've purchased from VG. I imagine that the same cause might extend to quite a few other roses. My guess is that some floribundas root more vigorously than most HTs, explaining why my batting average with those might be a little higher.

Finally, I note that VG sells a lot of cold-tender plants without being very clear how cold-tender they are. I imagine I have bought a few plants that have gotten cold feet here. Most other rose suppliers are better than VG at providing the info you need to stop you from throwing away your money on roses that will fail at the first frost. ARE goes so far as barring you from buying roses not cold hardy in your zone (or did until recently).

Also, small plants fare worse for me than large ones. Most of the bands I've bought from RVR have died, too. Slightly better batting average with RVR gallons - which VG doesn't offer.
[Last edited by Steve812 - Apr 13, 2012 12:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Apr 13, 2012 12:24 PM CST


Steve's right: Most hybrid teas will not grow well on their own roots, even in sandy loam in zone 9. In addition, I think Vintage used to sell older, more established plants than they do now. Most of the Vintage roses I bought before 2007 grew well and are still alive in my garden. After that, I think they started to sell very young rooted cuttings, and we bought plants that would have died off and been discarded at the nursery in past years.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Apr 13, 2012 1:51 PM CST
Okay, I'd like to help them stay in business, but if you people have trouble growing their roses, the poor plants wouldn't have a chance with me!

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