After a move: Replacing your favorite plants

When a gardener moves, she finds that it's hard to replace some of her favorite roses and other plants.

Courtesy of Lynn hunt
The flowers of this shrub rose, known as Lyda Rose, resemble apple blossoms and are quite prolific. But it's not readily available at large retailers.

Moving is often cited as one of the top ten most stressful events in life. I don’t doubt it, but in my case, I was so busy coordinating our recent move I didn’t have time to realize I was stressed.

We put our Maryland house on the market in late January last year, it sold a couple of weeks later, and we closed on March 31. And oh, by the way, we left for our son’s wedding in Australia a day after the settlement.

When we finally arrived at our house in North Carolina in May, we wasted no time starting a new garden. I wasn’t able to bring any of my plants with me, so at first it seemed fun starting fresh with a completely different garden design.

Now, exactly a year later, I am beginning to miss some my old favorites from all the years I gardened on the Eastern Shore. And I’m discovering how difficult it’s going to be to replace them.

Out-of-the-ordinary roses are hard to find

We’ve been reading a lot lately about financial problems in the nursery industry and the bankruptcy of big names like Jackson & Perkins. 

If you’re looking for a Knock Out or a Blaze climbing rose, the collapse of some of these businesses probably is not going to affect you.

But what if you’re like me and want to locate a unique variety called Lyda Rose?  The bloom of this shrub rose looks more like an apple blossom than a rose, but it puts out amazing sprays covered with dozens of simple, exquisite flowers.

Unfortunately, you’ll never find one at your local big box store.

A website called HelpMeFind indicated that four nurseries in the country carry Lyda Rose. As it turns out, only one had her in stock, and I fortunately snagged the last available bush from Angel Gardens in Alachua, Fla.

Louisville Lady was the next rose I tried to locate. I’d left six behind in Maryland and was having a hard time finding even one. Fortunately a Mississippi company, K&M Roses, came to the rescue. They not only had Louisville Lady, but another miniflora I was looking for, named Whiraway. The plants they sent were beautifully packaged and extremely healthy.

Tracking down perennial partners

Some of the companions I planted with roses in my cottage garden were more than 15 years old. I’ve found some lavenders and catmints, but was striking out when it came to a favorite variety of Centranthus (also known as Jupiter’s Beard.)

I’d grown both the red and white varieties, which produced beautiful clusters of flowers on long arching stems from May till frost if the spent blooms were pinched back.

The red variety is readily available, but I’d just about given up finding Centransus alba when I discovered  New Garden Plants. They had exactly what I wanted, and I was very impressed with the quality of all their perennials.

So it seems that smaller nurseries have helped me replace my old garden faves in a big way.

Now if I could just get my hands on a Tiffany Lynn rose.

PSSST: If you have sprays forming on your shrubs and floribundas, pinch out the terminal (biggest) bud in the center, then all the other blooms in the cluster will open together.


Lynn Hunt, the Rose Whisperer, is one of more than a dozen expert gardeners who blog regularly at Diggin' It. She's an accredited horticultural judge and a Consulting Rosarian Emeritus for the American Rose Society. She has won dozens of awards for her writing in newspapers, magazines, and television. After a recent move, she grows roses and other plants in her garden in the mountains of western North Carolina.. To read more by Lynn, click here.You can also follow her on Twitter and read her Dirt Diaries.

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