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Yesterday's roses make a comeback. Here are mail-order suppliers that offer good selections.

Old roses like the ones pictured at right and on page 146 recall the soft, simple blooms that decorated 19th-century pergolas and picket fences. Although they've been overshadowed for the past 50 years by more brilliantly colored modern varieties, old roses are making a comeback as Western gardeners rediscover their hardiness, diversity, and beauty.

Many old roses are deliciously fragrant. Some varieties are highly resistant to pests and diseases. Some can rival modern roses as season-long flower factories. And their flowers-from big cabbage types to tidy, five-petal singles-come in colors ranging from white and pastels to yellow and red.

At right are five mail-order suppliers in the West and four elsewhere that offer good selections of old roses. Write for catalogs this month, and order early for best selection. If you live in a mild-winter area, you can get a head start on spring growth by ordering and planting before Thanksgiving.

The nurseries listed ship roses bare-root. When the roses arrive, unpack them immediately. If you must delay planting, moisten the packing medium slightly and rewrap the rose for up to two days. Soak roots in water for about 12 hours before planting.

Mail-order suppliers in the West ...

Greenmantle Nursery, 3010 Ettersburg Rd Garberville, Calif 95440; (707) 986-7504.

Offers a full range of old-fashioned roses as well as species, climbing, China tea, modern shrub, and bedding roses. Ships January through March. Complete listing of more than 250 rose varieties is free with stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Heritage Rose Gardens, 16831 Mitchell Creek Dr., Fort Bragg, Calif. 95437; (707) 964-3748. Features more than 200 old roses, including ramblers such as Gardenia' (introduced in 1899), with yellow buds that open to ivory double blooms; and tea roses such as `Mme. Lambard' (1878), with salmon pink blooms. Roses are shipped January into early March. Descriptive catalog costs $1.

High Country Rosarium, 1717 Downing St., Denver 80218; (303) 832-4026. More than 130 varieties of old roses, all tissue-cultured and growing on their own roots. Ships spring, summer, and fall. Informative 25-page catalog costs $1.

Rose Acres, 6641 Crystal Blvd., Diamond Springs, Calif. 95619; (916) 626-1722. Cutting-grown roses on their own roots; many single types. The 240 varieties include Gallicas such as Charles de Mills' (early 1800s), with deep rose-pink blooms; and hybrid perpetuals such as Paul Neyron' (1869), with large, fragrant pink blooms. Ships late November to early March. Send stamped, self-addressed envelope for free listing.

Roses of Yesterday & Today, 802 Brown's Valley Rd., Watsonville, Calif. 95076; (408) 724-3537. Specialists in old, rare, and fragrant garden roses such as damasks, hybrid perpetuals, and centifolias. More than 250 to choose from, including `Maman Cochet' (1893), a tea rose with fragrant pink blooms; and autumn damask, a soft pink, double-flowered rose the Spanish missionaries in early California called the "Rose of Castile." Ships January through May. Catalog costs 4.

... and beyond

The Antique Rose Emporium, Route 5, Box 143,, Brenham, Texas 77833; (409) 836-9051. More than 200 varieties of container-grown roses, with emphasis on varieties that perform well in hot weather. Ships bare-root December through mid-February, then container-grown plants through April. Catalog costs $5.

Wayside Gardens, Hodges, S.C. 29695; (800) 845-1124. Offers 19 types of roses, including Gallica, hybrid musk, Austin, and species more than 175 in all. Ships March through May. Complete Rose Catalog (48 pages) is free.

Hortico, Inc., 723 Robson Road, R.R. 1, Waterdown, Ont. LOR 2H1, Canada; (416) 689-6984. More than 600 roses, including hybrid perpetuals such as Baron de Rothschild' (1868), and the first reblooming damask hybrid, Duchess of Portland' (about 1800). Also many varieties of modern roses, extra-hardy Explorer roses, and many shrub and David Austin roses. Ships late November through mid-April. Color catalog costs $2.

Pickering Nurseries Inc., 670 Kingston Rd. Pickering, Ont. L1V 1A6, Canada; (416) 839-2111. Good selection of more than 600 old garden, David Austin, Explorer, and new European roses. Ships late October through November and again late January through April. Color catalog costs $3.
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Article Type:Directory
Date:Nov 1, 1990
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