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Swanes

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Swanes

Post by betsyw on 25th March 2013, 15:05

Just back, and hot and tired but utterly delighted with a few purchases. Next time, we will go earlier in the cool morning, and buy a lot more, now that we know our way around better.

Every nursery should have a Finbarr. What an intelligent and engaging MD to have as your PR front man and back of-house brains. Sorry, not much to report behind the curtain (I should have brought the Scotch) and couldn't prise a Twilight Zone out of him (I should have brought the crowbar) but we did see a specimen plant about to bloom, and yeah, we all need one of these, I think.

Will upload some pix tonight. Not all your requests were blooming, but I have a few.

I bought a Sightsaver (Finbarr was kind enough to locate one for me) and it is divine - not stupid pink, more a salmony glow, frilly, and a power scent that filled the car. Gail now has a Firefighter and two Beach Blanket roses to replace gangly Friesias in her front stone pots, and her list for 2013 has grown considerably, so Finbarr has served the future business end of Swane's well, as well as their customer relations .

So great to meet the distinguished Man of Roses Ozeboy - next time we stop for an hour or more, and at least a coffee. I've placed my order with you, though, so I am sure we will see more of each other.
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Re: Swanes

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 25th March 2013, 15:55

Yes he can be swarve our Ozeboy(Bruce) with our ladies, not so with the boys. lol!
Did you get a photo of Finbarr,no scotch, more like Guinness
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 25th March 2013, 16:07

roseman, it somehow seemed gauche at the time to whip out the camera and yammer at Finbarr to pose with a potted City of Newcastle ;-)
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Re: Swanes

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 25th March 2013, 16:15

What do they say "no hide, no Christmas box"
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Re: Swanes

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 25th March 2013, 16:41

Betsy, what did the plant of Twilight look like, nice against it's parent
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 06:39

roseman, the plant looked exquisitely well formed, rounded, and flush with buds. (Unfortunately, none were open at the time)Much better than ET. HOWEVER - TZ plant I saw was a display specimen for Swane's big Easter rose showcase, and so of course had been groomed and pampered to show it off to perfection.

Finbar is loyal to ET, which makes commercial sense but also has grounding in the true diffrences. TZ may be more vigorous, but ET has the true, arresting, deep purple colour, no doubt about it. Does ET also have a stronger scent? Time will tell for each of you get both, I think. MY money, which dwindles daily as I shop, will go to TZ when it is released. Gail, on teh opther hadn, is smitten with ET.

Finbarr is also very big on Good Samaritan . When given a split-second moment to choose between GS and Firefighter, Finbarr chose GS by a whisker. If FF didn't exist, I would go for GS, but as things are, I just can't fault FF for a cutting fragrant dark red. GS is a gorgeous, vigorous plant, the blooms more cherry/fuschia red, great form, not as fargrant though. You multiple-red collectors might want to take note...
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Re: Swanes

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 26th March 2013, 06:52

Betsy, by chance was there a display of "Soul Mate/Julia Child"
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 06:53

On balance: We went to Swane's a week too soon. The row of display plants in pots were blooming, but the huge stands of varieties in teh rose beds- a veritable FOREST of Fragrant Clouds, be still my beating heart! = were loaded with buds, just covered with 'em. In a few day, teh place will explode with colour and perfume. Will be extraordinary.

Gail and I have made note to return in Spring - but not before we get the green light from Swane's staff regarding bloom time. It's a 3 1/2 hour return trip for us, and I want to get the full rose-o-rama experience.

Tip #2: Go in the early morning. Swaner's is designed to catch maximum sun, of course, and we were smacked in the head by the midday Dural sun yesterday. Next time, we'll get there by 9:30, and so be able to spend a lot more time looking and buying. Gail gets nursery fatigue the way I get museum fatigue, and she wanted to leave pretty much after 1pm.

Pix coming soon. They largely are poor and boring.Sux. I blame the equipment. Or maybe the heat. Not myself, of course.
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 06:58

Re Julia Child/SM - roseman, I'm sure there was, but you know, I didn't see it, and didn't ask for directions for it.. I didn't see it in the "highlight" row of giant display pots, but I bet there is a mass of them somewhere.. Again, I think JC.SM will be bliindingly visisble when all the roses open - a sheet of yellow.
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 11:01

Okay, some pix:
A few comments:
In the Show Line, as I'll call it, of featured roses in large pots that line the outside path of the entry into the nrusery, all the specimens looked fantastic. Featured roses this season included: Day Breaker, PJPII, Good Samaritan (aka Fabulous), Firefighter: There were also featured specimens scattered around the tabled roow of plants for sale. I regret not taking a pic of Twilight Zone, but it was just a mass of buds at that stage.
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Day Breaker - always a looker, even at my house
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Good Samaritan. This big , beautiful A-List red is Finbarr's pick. Has great reviews on HMF, but the fragrance isn't a patch on FF, IMO, but it is a winning looker.
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And speaking of Firefighter....
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Now for some of the large rose beds.
First one is new to me, but is an award winning Oldie from the '70s, Friendship. My god, the blooms were HUGE and super fragrant. This oen seems to have faded from popularity, and I don't know why. Maybe too many clones and too little vigor, but I want one of these, I think. It was my surprise Pick of the Day.
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Governor Macquarie Very handsome, good scent. We managed to find an open bloom around teh back of the bed, way down low and out of camera range. I liked this one heaps.
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Heaven Scent Fragrant, big blooms, but not as arresting as Friendship
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Scentimental This one has never inspired me, but I think maree or silky asked for it. Candycane thing.
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Taboo I really wanted a whiff, but nouthin' doin' on the day. Does anyone have an opinion on this rose?
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Social Climber For maree or silky. It's big, it's healthy, it's boring so-what pink to me. Scent is there. Gail is taking a sample (which is why she looks a bit odd) and I include this second pic so you can get an idea of scale.
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That's sort of the pick of the pix. A visit next week would have shown absolutely masses more flowers. Now I know...

Anyone have any questions, I'll answer if I can ;-)) Aotearoa and sibling Full Sail were just beginning to pop, but I think most of you knwo those two fairly well. Big Purple actually looked purple!!, and I thought I grabbed a shot, but don't see it on the computer batch.

Sight Saver was a mass of buds, and so no pic of its peach-coloured blooms. BUT for those of you who are iinterested in this one, I will take a pic of one of my forthcoming blooms as soon as one comes forth ;-), As I mentioned, thanks to Finbarr's successful hunt back of house, I now have my own.


Last edited by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 11:19; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 11:05

PS: If Swane's needs to fix anything, I'd say it woudl be the signage. Many markers are missing,. some are badly weathered and worn, others are small. There is no uniformity at all to the size and style of the signage, and so it looks messy, makeshift, forlorn, shabby.And that's a pity, because the beds are (or used to be) Swane's crowning glory, and a big reason why people who want more than the average garden centre will travel for hours to go there.
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Re: Swanes

Post by silkyfizz on 26th March 2013, 11:43

Thanks heaps Betsy. I'm just trying to process it all at the moment. Sight Saver sounds wonderful!
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Re: Swanes

Post by RosyTeesh on 26th March 2013, 15:44

Scentimental is one of my favourites.
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 16:33

Not for nothing is Scentimental still widely available after all these years ;-)) A classic and beloved. Pay no attention to my subjective comments Teesh et al -
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Re: Swanes

Post by RosyTeesh on 26th March 2013, 17:01

Wink
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Re: Swanes

Post by Carole on 26th March 2013, 21:42

It looks like you had a lovely day Betsy, although I was hoping for a picture of Finbarr. Did you meet up with Bruce?
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 22:02

I thought all you experienced NSW rosarians knew Finbarr, otherwise I would have been a pushy journo and grabbed a pic.

He's tall, rangy, bit of stylish stubble, maybe mid-thirties ( i'm liable to be wrong here) looks like a man of the land - no, actually he reminded me more of a celebrity chef gone country and minus the whites - and talks a mean business plan ;-)

He didn't walk into this job with an interest or even much regard for roses - just the opposite from what I gather - but total immersion and time have turned him into a rose marketing guru, I think.

Yes, the lovely Bruce and I caught up very briefly. We should all catch up together next time - an RTA NSW branch annual meeting at the Swane's coffee shop ;-))


Last edited by betsyw on 26th March 2013, 22:15; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Swanes

Post by brettv68 on 26th March 2013, 22:10

Thanks for the great photos much appreciated! Mexican Wave
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Re: Swanes

Post by maree on 27th March 2013, 02:02

Well done Betsy , certainly given us something to think about , SightSaver sounds great , and i think i'll have to reserve a spot for Twilight Zone when it comes available . Social Climber was one i was interested in too , so great pics , thanks
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Re: Swanes

Post by maree on 27th March 2013, 02:04

I'm starting to think i need some big pots like the ones in the photos , cause my garden space is coming to a end ...
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Re: Swanes

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 27th March 2013, 05:53

The answer Betsy about Finbarr is to get Finbarr to place a photo of himself on here as Bruce, your friend Gail and yourself are the only ones which have seen him.
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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 27th March 2013, 06:03

Most certainly that would be the answer, roseman, maybe flanked by a few of those hard-working staffers ;-)))
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Re: Swanes

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 27th March 2013, 06:12

What if you and I email him on the subject
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Re: Swanes

Post by Ozeboy on 27th March 2013, 08:31

From my observation the girls were in a "Must see everything frenzy"
and with limited time I left them to it. Would have liked half an hour or so drinking coffee with the girls, maybe next time.
My vote is 'Good Samaritan' growning there and 'Elina' I don't think they have.

Finbarr, would you help me by describing what the plants were that were growing on the left hand side of the building (Nearer the front road) situated closer to the road from the wholesale dispatch area. They were strong coloured looking like no rose I have seen in the past. Looked like plants that could be used in a breeding programme. I did mean to ask you but couldn't find you on site. Perhaps you would care to answer unless it's top secret. Are you doing any breeding at Narromine?


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Re: Swanes

Post by betsyw on 27th March 2013, 08:35

Roseman, I think we should leave any gimmee's until after the Easter weekend. It will be a frantic time for Swane's if the weather holds. But most certainly, I'll join you in any request for a photo.

Finbarr is clearly a celebrity in these RTA parts. You really should relieve Carole of her laundry duties at the Mudgee dhobi ghat, and motor down to Dural to meet the man himself
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Re: Swanes

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