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The decline of rose nurseries

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The decline of rose nurseries

Post by paulh on 25th October 2014, 23:44

Ok, this is imo, going to be a real problem for rose buyers here in Perth.
After having a good chat to a staff member from Melvilles Roses, it has left me feeling bewildered. Further to muscovyduckling's posting on this subject, Here is the state of play. Melvilles as we know has been sold, there will be no more growing at Melville's, most of the area that contains all there new plants will be replaced by a mini golf setup.
They will continue to sell a limited range of rose that will be sourced from Jarrahdale Roses.
Apparently Swiss Roses are under pressure from developers to sell up and is in the pipeline to finish, as Roworths Roses have been put on the market as well. So, this may just leave Dawsons as the only retail rose supplier.
What does all this mean? It looks very much like in the wash up, that not only will there be a lack of choice in rose nurseries, there will be a substantial lack of varieties that will be on offer, especially if one is going to rely on Dawsons.
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by Balinbear on 26th October 2014, 09:07

Nurseries are usually established on larger site on the outskirts of towns and as towns grow the sites become attractive to developers. There was a nursery in Brisbane that probably had the best collection of roses for sale (in Brisbane) but it is gone and townhouses grace the site.

Nurseries are also usually family run and if kids don't want to continue the business then sale to developers is a great option for the usually older (ie retiring) parents.

You can also lay some of the blame on the TV gardening shows etc for the decline on the popularity of roses. Up here all we are told that we should have in our gardens are "palm trees and buddas". Gardening Australia is usually only vegetable gardens and native gardens. Very rarely will they show roses. I guess that they have found that this is what the viewer is interested in.

I know the Heritage Rose collection at Renmark is in danger of being sold up as well and options for relocation are being considered. Once again I believe it is pressure to develop the land that is the concern.

I guess this end up with rose nurseries being well away from developing areas and mail order being the only way to purchase roses. This no doubt would put WA in a bad situation with the roses growing on different rootstock and quarantine problems getting plants into the state.
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by muscovyduckling on 26th October 2014, 13:47

Balinbear wrote: This no doubt would put WA in a bad situation with the roses growing on different rootstock and quarantine problems getting plants into the state.

This is my exact fear Gary. Even though I don't live in Perth anymore. I've just bought my sister over there her first two roses, she's just getting into gardening and I want her to have easy care, no spray, healthy bloom machines so that she doesn't get scared off. This isn't going to happen if she can only get HTs or plants on the wrong rootstock.

I guess the Eastern nurseries could offer some plants on Fort and get accreditation to send to WA, but this will cost the nurseries money, be a big hassle, and there's no guarantee that they'll cover their costs if Perthies have been watching Gardening Australia and want to plant grevillias instead. I don't think many nurseries will do it, and if they did of course the cost would be passed onto the WA buyers Sad

Perhaps the Jarrahdale farm will offer mail order direct to the public? I don't know what their range is like though, and it's a pain not being able to see and sniff a rose before you buy it.

So anyway Paul, did you see Buff Beauty and Lady Hillingdon when you went to Meilvilles?
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by silkyfizz on 26th October 2014, 14:49

muscovyduckling wrote: it's a pain not being able to see and sniff a rose before you buy it.

This is one of the reasons why I like to buy from rose specialists. You can go and see the plant in situ to find the right rose for you. It's all very well reading the catalogue descriptions and drool over the mouth watering pictures but nothing beats seeing the actual plants. I've found the growers actually welcome you when you arrive at the height of the season to have a look, if you explain you want to buy and not just kicking tyres. We need to support the local growers as much as we can. Too many seem to go under. A bit like buying from your local butcher and greengrocer rather than the supermarket. They know you and don't give you rubbish. Worth the effort IMO. OK I'll get off my soapbox now. Rant
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by Balinbear on 26th October 2014, 18:58

silkyfizz wrote:
muscovyduckling wrote: it's a pain not being able to see and sniff a rose before you buy it.

This is one of the reasons why I like to buy from rose specialists. You can go and see the plant in situ to find the right rose for you. It's all very well reading the catalogue descriptions and drool over the mouth watering pictures but nothing beats seeing the actual plants. I've found the growers actually welcome you when you arrive at the height of the season to have a look, if you explain you want to buy and not just kicking tyres. We need to support the local growers as much as we can. Too many seem to go under. A bit like buying from your local butcher and greengrocer rather than the supermarket. They know you and don't give you rubbish. Worth the effort IMO. OK I'll get off my soapbox now. Rant

"nothing beats seeing the actual plants"

Which is fine if you have a rose nursery nearby. The nearest specialist rose nursery to us is a four hour drive away and then it's not really worth the drive. To see a good rose nursery we would have to drive 2 days or catch a plane and hire a car.

All the nurseries up here have adopted the Jamie Durie inspired Bali Garden. Though the Masters store an hour or so away form our place did have lots of perennials (not much in the line of roses though) when we visited it the other day.
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by silkyfizz on 26th October 2014, 20:06

Yes you're quite right Balinbear. I was just talking from my own experience and forgot that rose growers are not within reach of everyone. Two days drive away! Wow! Had no idea roses were so scarce up north.
Jamie Drurie and his Bali Gardens - in my ignorance I thought he was a tad more versatile and had broader horizons. Able to adapt to his clients' briefs. Silly me huh?
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by muscovyduckling on 26th October 2014, 20:36

Haha, Bali gardens! That is a bit sad actually.

Gary, I ordered all my roses this year without seeing any of them (still haven't seen most of them, ha!). As such I have ended up with a few that I can't stand the smell of (David Austin, I'm looking at you. Myrrh?? What were you thinking?!). There are always bound to be a few dud though I guess.

At least I can still purchase most of the ones I want for a reasonable price and budded on to an appropriate rootstock once a year. Those poor Perthies won't be able to Sad
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by paulh on 27th October 2014, 00:22

[quote="muscovyduckling"]
Balinbear wrote: This no doubt would put WA in a bad

So anyway Paul, did you see Buff Beauty and Lady Hillingdon when you went to Meilvilles?

Thanks muscovyduckling, yes I did see them, I found a few BB's in pots, but they were quite poor specimens. To be honest, I must say that what was on offer overall, was disappointing, because the business has now been sold, I dare say that the focus is not on the stock that they have on hand. On visiting Roworths, I was confronted with the same as Melvilles. What was on offer, I feel, was far below what one should be offered for sale. So maybe Roworths a far closer to selling up than what I realise.
To me it's a sad day when one, at the moment, can get far better quality from Dawsons, who are not a deicated rose nursery.
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by paulh on 27th October 2014, 00:25

Well for us Sandgorpers, one may have to try and get some truckie to smuggle some roses into WA. lol! lol!
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by neptune on 27th October 2014, 01:35

paulh wrote:Well for us Sandgorpers, one may have to try and get some truckie to smuggle some roses into WA. lol! lol!

I'm game, but I need a co-driver, Paul...you up for it...... Cool
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by Ausrose on 27th October 2014, 04:09

Urban sprawl that has dramatically increased the value on which many nurseries have been built combined with the declining profitability of rose nurseries has virtually sealed the fate of many of them.

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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by paulh on 27th October 2014, 11:23

neptune wrote:
paulh wrote:Well for us Sandgorpers, one may have to try and get some truckie to smuggle some roses into WA. lol! lol!

I'm game, but I need a co-driver, Paul...you up for it...... Cool

Yep i think we will have to raid the east lol
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by Ausrose on 27th October 2014, 16:34

I don't think so.

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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by muscovyduckling on 27th October 2014, 20:40

Sounds like a challenge! Bring it on!
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by Balinbear on 27th October 2014, 22:14

silkyfizz wrote:Yes you're quite right Balinbear. I was just talking from my own experience and forgot that rose growers are not within reach of everyone. Two days drive away! Wow! Had no idea roses were so scarce up north.
Jamie Drurie and his Bali Gardens - in my ignorance I thought he was a tad more versatile and had broader horizons. Able to adapt to his clients' briefs. Silly me huh?

Yes he is down your way and does a good job but everything that I have seen him do up here is the tropical scene with the palms and the bromeliads. Trouble is people do not believe you can grow roses in our climate. We have been told by qualified nursery people not to waste our time with roses and camellias. Both of which we grow. Yes you have to choose the right varieties but we grow them and they do well.
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by Ausrose on 28th October 2014, 02:59

Us on the dark side wouldn't see it as a challenge. It would be like Tony Mundine taking on Mike Tyson.

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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 28th October 2014, 06:34

I think if roses(nurseries) are to survive in OZ there are a couple of things need to happen, co-operation between nurseries, specialist growers need to be developed, if you look at Swanes cat you will see this happening with thier list. Runs of certain roses, which change from year to year. A rose repository similar to Rustons, but on a smaller scale and individual. A thing I think you will find coming to the rose industry here in OZ will be what is done in other parts of the world, roses grown from cuttings, in the USA they refer to them as 'bands', it might take a while but I think it might happen here. The other thing the public needs to be more open, become better educated, garden shows need to not be centred on one or two subjects. Rose societies and "some" of thier members need to be open and not so "clicky", these are my thoughts.
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by paulh on 29th October 2014, 02:50

The Lazy Rosarian wrote:I think if roses(nurseries) are to survive in OZ there are a couple of things need to happen, co-operation between nurseries, specialist growers need to be developed, if you look at Swanes cat you will see this happening with thier list. Runs of certain roses, which change from year to year. A rose repository similar to Rustons, but on a smaller scale and individual. A thing I think you will find coming to the rose industry here in OZ will be what is done in other parts of the world, roses grown from cuttings, in the USA they refer to them as 'bands', it might take a while but I think it might happen here. The other thing the public needs to be more open, become better educated, garden shows need to not be centred on one or two subjects. Rose societies and "some" of thier members need to be open and not so "clicky", these are my thoughts.

Well posted David, for what it's worth and it's probably nothing, I've shot of an email to Dawsons over in the east, enlightening to what's happening here in Perth. With some of the same views you have expressed as well as other points. The guts of it was, that Dawsons may well be the only major player in roses here in Perth. My suggestion was the could sit on what their do now, or they could run with it which would be beneficial to them and to their customers, eg: increasing their selection and listening to the enthusiasts. Education as you said is needed, unfortunately over here when ever there's a gardening program on tele, it's all about natives and they keep banging on about vege's. Call me a cynic, but I fell that Dawsons will just sit and do nothing. So where does it leave us?
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 29th October 2014, 06:27

In that email, ask them "who" supplies thier budwood, if all the other nurseries get wood fro say Treloars or Swanes, it could be a good chance to introduce new varieties, just a thought.
Is there no little 'niche' growers around WA ?
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by paulh on 29th October 2014, 13:52

2014-10-29b
The Lazy Rosarian wrote:In that email, ask them "who" supplies thier budwood, if all the other nurseries get wood fro say Treloars or Swanes, it could be a good chance to introduce new varieties, just a thought.
Is there no little 'niche' growers around WA ?

Thanks David. I have already sent the email, if i get a reply i will ask about the budwood. I did find a smaller grower who was grafting onto fortuniana. I bought 4 plants however only one took off the other three i gave the flick, he hasn't advertised for over a year now. There is a small rose nursery here in Cannington, good price, on fortuniana, very limited variety though, probably about 20-30 in each variety except in standards and climbers.
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by muscovyduckling on 30th October 2014, 08:56

Paul, does the place in Cannington sell antiques? And what about the supplier in Jarrahdale?
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by Ausrose on 30th October 2014, 16:26

It is going to get a lot worse with all the boutique nurseries we love so dearly disappearing.


Last edited by Ausrose on 31st October 2014, 15:04; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by paulh on 30th October 2014, 22:59

muscovyduckling wrote:Paul, does the place in Cannington sell antiques? And what about the supplier in Jarrahdale?

No muscovyduckling cannington only sell a limited modern roses selection, I will try and chase up Jarrahdale.
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by muscovyduckling on 1st November 2014, 10:07

Bummer Sad
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Re: The decline of rose nurseries

Post by Ozeboy on 2nd November 2014, 11:14

You have to realise roses need care, labour and money to keep going. Vintage roses in the US have battled for years to pay the bills and have only recently been saved by contributions from collectors.
I have culled a lot of golden oldies like 'Souvenir de Wootton both bush and climber. I doubt if there are any of these alive in Australia. Another one on the cull list is 'Laurent Carle' both bush and climber. When these go they are lost forever because I'm running out of puff and can't look after them all.

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