Great times! I saw the ☀️. Plants are growing well and many basil breaks on the roses. It is easier to look forward than look backward when spring is coming.
Had a great time at the rose society of Tacoma. Lots of questions and nice interactions. I was concerned about being too negative. I have grown frustrated with inferior rose growers acting like their roses are just as good or better. So in the meeting I didn't hold punches. For years I have taken the heat for problems created by wholesalers. I have had it with these clowns.
I have also had it with the unsolicited advice from people that have rose gardens. I have grown over 100,000 individual rose plants. Please don't give me the "what you need to do is" line. I often will turn it around in my head. "You know what YOU need to do is..."
Maybe I am irritated that my brother has been in the hospital through the ER. Or that a family I know is in the middle of a very serious legal situation. Or that I had 2 greenhouses collapse in the last snow we had. Or that a company I have spent tens of thousands of dollars with won't pick up my phone call.
Loyalty. Oh well. At least I have great customers even though I haven't always deserved it.
Apparently 2 of my greenhouses needed more support for a snow load😖
It was great seeing nice people. Jo and Cliff Martin, Barb and Bruce Lind, Mike and Alexa Peterson, Beth buying the Sheila's Perfume And Julia buying the 4 Ingrid Bergman.
Thank you all for coming out to talk to me about Roses. Not just business when people have passion about roses.
Had a great time at Tacoma dome talking Roses. I was the warm up act for Cisco Morris. I guess that is like when Alice In Chains opened for Van Halen. I'm going tone big!👍
The new Rose List for 2017 is on the tab in the menu of this website
I will be giving a short slideshow at the Tacoma Home and Garden Showw on Sunday. I will be starting at 12:00
Lets get this season going. In the nursery business this time of year is dark. Literally and figuratively. I guess we are on the count down to the summer solstice. Most of the roses look good this year and we will have more annuals and perennials than ever. I am redoing some of the setup as well. We will have a new greenhouse and a bigger road presence. The new rose list is posted. We should have a bigger selection of tomatoes and veggies as well, but smaller quantities so shop early.
Regarding the rose list. Some of the long timers may notice that we have less varieties. There is a reason. One of the main reasons is that as time has gone on we have realized that many varieties that grow ok in the garden do not grow well in a nursery environment. Specifically, Downey Mildew is very likely to be present in many varieties. I know that some of the sales reps will deny it, but I have talked to many experts as well as hybridizers that will say privately that Downey Mildew is in the plants themselves. Since this is the case it is not worth the risk rolling the dice. We had a significant problem 2 years ago and 15 years ago. Both times were devastating.
Roses are the most rewarding plant ever, but if specific varieties pose a significant threat it is not worth the risk. Certain distributors are very prone to have issues. So we have reduced the numbers from providers that we believe are high risk. We also have stopped carrying certain varieties all together. There have been a few other issues I would like to highlight.
The number of wholesale growers of roses is shrinking. So we are taking the step of budding many roses that are non patented and grow well here. This will be a time consuming process and will not show benefits for a couple of years. Many suppliers are not as customer service friendly as the old days and unfortunately trust has become an issue. We are still buying roses from Texas, Arizona, California and Ontario, BC so we will keep it going till we can build up are own supply. And we will always buy patented bare root roses from those areas.
Thanks for the interest.
Happy to be done with the Christmas Trees and wreaths. I also just finished potting the roses I received. Yippee! I don't know what you did the day before Christmas Eve, but I potted bareroot roses in the snow. It is good to have a week of rest with my family.
February 1st is the day we re open. I have uploaded the new rose list. Looking forward to this year and can't wait to get it going. Most roses are in, but certain ones will not be arriving until the first or second week of February so if you are looking for specifics contact me at 253 509 8409. Texts are great.
It puzzled me greatly how it seemed empty in February and March. April has been busy so far. Many veggie starts are now available. Hostas are starting to emerge and many perennials are ready to go. We will be having an enormous amount of Hardy Fuchsias on the outdoor tables soon.
I have been very pleased with the customer response and enthusiasm this year. If you haven't pruned your roses there is still time. I am doing my second prune and thinning out right now. On your roses at home it is important to remove cross canes and congested centers.
WE are sold out of specific varieties that we started the year with.
Looking forward to the new year. We increased sales last year by having options in annuals, perennials and veggie starts that were new to us. We were also very pleased with the response to our fancy mums and cabbage and kale. We also had a garden in the corner of the nursery and will increase the size and location of the garden this year. It will be closer to the rose fields. We were pleased with the roses last year, but were let down by some of the big wholesalers. Quality was not an issue, but the problems were more inside baseball stuff. We found where our stolen merchandise was ending up and hopefully wont have that problem in the future.
As is our custom, we will reopen on February 1st. New List will be up soon. The email I always see is firstname.lastname@example.org. My cell number is 2535098409. My cell service is spotty around the nursery, but I see text messages immediately on my iphone. Don't leave messages on my cell phone, I have been unable to access them. For messages feel free to call my home phone 253 853 2870.
I hope most of you saw my article in the Gig Harbor Life paper this last week. I have also updated the home page. It has some pictures on it that I took this week of roses blooming in the field. I have had a few people tell me they lost roses last year. It was a hard one and weak plants may have bit the dust. I say hurray in many respects, not because you may buy new ones, a weak roses isn't worth growing while there are so many good ones. Our return policy with very few exceptions is this "If you believe it is my fault, Mike, your rose died then we will exchange it or refund your money." Having said that, It is very easy for an experienced rose grower like myself to tell if a rose has been under watered or had round up sprayed to close to it. Any way check out the new pics
Starting to see some color in the field. Twilight Zone, Ebb Tide and Scentimental are all blooming. Baskets are looking good too. Today is the last day all baskets under 17" are $15 each. Tomatoes are growing well and ready for planting. Running out of some soon. Vegetable plants are on the way and some are ready for sale including:
Lettuce, Walla Wallas, Beans, Zucchini, Lemon Cucumbers, among others.
Hostas, Fuchsias, and bedding plants solid right now as well.
Roses look awesome right now with few exceptions. I have preventative sprayed today and yesterday. All roses have been fertilized. FYI if you haven't cut blind shoots off your plant you should do so now. Cut down at least to the third leaf node if you have no buds coming.
We had a great Mothers Day at the Nursery. So many nice customers. Papa Frank is getting edgy, but it is par for the course. I will have many tomatoes at Puyallup tomorrow as well as baskets. 1st year growing tomatoes myself, they look pretty good. $3.50 each at the market I back the tax out. So $3.50 otd For Gig Harbor people I will have an article in Gig Harbor Life soon on gardening check it out.