Monday, April 13, 2009

Hey, Connie, why are you starting a nursery?

This is a valid question. With the current pessimistic tone of the economy, it seems risky to start any sort of business right now. Here are a couple of my thoughts on the subject:

1. There’s no place anywhere near here to buy good roses. The main sources for roses are generalized nurseries and big-box stores that sell the “latest and greatest” from large growers. Most of these roses are hybrid teas (nothing against hybrid teas, mind you) and they are budded onto Dr. Huey, a root stock that doesn’t perform well in our soil.

2. Nurseries and Big Box stores don’t have gardens. How can the average rose grower see what the potted roses at the store will look like as they mature? Under these circumstances, we have to rely on the photo on the tag, and maybe a short description … both of which are designed to entice you to buy that rose, whether it will perform well in the conditions of your garden or not.

3. There are so many fabulous roses out there you’ve that probably never heard of. Large retailers can’t offer these roses, because there’s no word-of-mouth demand for them. Their stock is driven by the marketing of the large growers who supply them.

My goal here is simple: I want to grow roses that most people have never seen, and get them out into gardens where they can be enjoyed. While doing this, if I can provide a little bit of entertainment, I’ll be thrilled.

I am also trying to create a place for people to come to learn about roses. As the gardens here mature, we plan to have pruning workshops and propagation classes (a nursery that teaches people to propagate their own roses … now that’s different), maybe a guest lecturer or two, and whatever else I can think of to help share my love of roses with as many people as possible. Just the fact that I’m approaching 700 different varieties of roses should catch people’s interest, and make them want to come visit.

I’m not one to toot my own horn. I get very uncomfortable talking about myself, so this post has been a bit of a struggle for me. If you’d like to get updates on events here at the nursery, sign up for our mailing list … the form is on the ‘Contact Us’ page at the Hartwood Roses web site,

1 comment:

  1. I'm very excited about your new venture! There is a real rose void in the Mid-Atlantic region. Local information is crucial. Questions about size and disease resistance cannot be answered well for us by the California and Texas growers. I really hope to be able to visit soon.



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