Monday, February 12, 2018

Reviewing the Antique Rose Emporium

The Antique Rose Emporium 2018 catalog.
Do you love Roses? Would you like to grow roses in your garden but believe they are too delicate and difficult to grow? Are you looking for a special, hardy, old-fashioned rose and can't find quite what you want at the local nurseries? If the answer to any of these questions is "yes" I recommend that you shop at the Antique Rose Emporium.

What better recommendation is there than word-of-mouth?  A few years ago, when I was searching for a very specific rose but had no idea it's name, Renaissance Woman pointed me in the direction of The Antique Rose Emporium.  I'm glad she did. Receiving my 2018 catalog in the mail recently reminded me that I wanted to continue to spread the word about the wonderful roses offered at the Antique Rose Emporium (ARE).


The Antique Rose Emporium


The Antique Rose Emporium (ARE) is located in Independence, Texas. There you will find their display garden and retail center.  If, like me, you are not able to visit them in Texas, you can order from them online and request their catalog. The ship orders within the continental US. It is their philosophy (and in my limited experience with roses, I agree) that old garden roses are hardy and easy-to-grow.

An excerpt from their "our story" page:


"Until the discovery of old garden roses, I shared the prevailing bias that roses were hard to grow, were fussy, needed to be sprayed, needed to be pruned in a certain way, and were short-lived. Roses we have since discovered have changed my bias and have made me an advocate of these easy care roses and I truly believe they are the ultimate garden plant"  -- Mike Shoup at Antique Rose Emporium

If you'd like to read more of what Mike Shoup has to say about roses, take a peek at his book:

Empress of the Garden available on Amazon

My Quest for a Specific Rose


Many years ago, I lived in a home that had been the home of a family who had lived there for 60+ years. In that yard was a rose bush that was both adored and hated. It was the most thorny thing and was a chore to mow around.  Yet, despite not being pruned or fertilized, or cared for in any other way it provided constant and a profuse amount of little maroon blossoms from the heat of the summer through late autumn. Those small roses had a strong fragrance that floated through the yard and into the house. On days off, I spread a blanket in the yard near that bush and relaxed with a book.

I had no idea how much I'd miss that rose bush and how often I would think about it after I moved away.  So the search began for a similar rose bush.

The problem is, I know next-to-nothing about roses. Didn't know what "hips" were. Double-bloom? Rambler? Remontant? WHAT?! 

Despite my complete lack of familiarity with describing roses, and trying to recall details about a rose from a decade ago, I emailed ARE to ask if they could help me identify that elusive rose.


Great Customer Service at the Antique Rose Emporium


I expected no response from my strange email request to help find that rose bush. Imagine my surprise when I received a personal response within that same day! Mr. Shoup described two roses with similar characteristics. And closed with the comment "This is the closest I can get. I think you are describing an old Hybrid Tea that we don't carry". 

I was astounded that anyone would take the time to respond to my inept description of an old rose bush. In my excitement about the roses they had to offer, I had already ordered a Granny Grimmetts for my yard at The Shack.

I received my Granny Grimmetts via the mail; shipped safely in a box and packaging that held it securely. I planted it in my yard at The Shack and the deer immediately stripped it. I now know that roses are a delicacy to deer and planting a rose on a ridge in West Virginia was like ringing a deer dinner bell. I placed a protective cage around the bush, and something else feasted on that poor plant.  I was sure that I had failed and killed that little rose bush but I allowed the cage to remain. And I was thrilled that the following year, that poor victimized rose had grown, put on a few buds, and was doing well! 


Granny Grimmetts in her new home
I have since returned to the area where that original rose bush was. I drove past the home and had plans of knocking on the door to ask if I could get some cuts from the plant. Alas, that unruly and thorny rosebush was long gone. But I have my Granny Grimmetts and plan to add the recommended Dame de Coeur.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

5 comments:

  1. Oh, I am so sorry to hear that the rose bush was gone when you went back! How sad that the new owners didn't adore it as much as you did. I do think it is wonderful that Mr. Shoup answered your email, especially since it is not a rose variety they carry. I will definitely order my own catalog. I love having roses right outside my door. No matter what I do, it seems I have to replace one every few years. Thank you for the nursery recommendation.

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  2. Dawn Rae, my folks had an older house in a Rochester, NY suburb for many years and mom loved her rose bushes. When us kids were grown and they downsized and moved, my mom wanted to take her rose buses with her. Dad said no, they were sold with the property. As you found when you returned to your old home, you 'can't go back'. Yes, the new owners had taken out all the rose bushes. If mom had only known, she would have taken them to her new home.

    Glad you have found an online source for your rose purchases and rose information. The Antique Rose Emporium sounds like a well-run and knowledgeable place for roses.

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  3. This sounds like a place I'd love to explore. I've had terrible luck with roses. I'm afraid now that my gardener has quit, the rose garden I inherited isn't going to thrive anymore. My mom's roses did need care, and I don't even know what they are or how to care for them. It sounds like the Antique Rose Emporium gave you great customer service.

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  4. I love the Antique Rose Emporium and have enjoyed my interactions with the Shoup family. It is definitely a special place to visit if you are ever traveling through Texas. Your review makes me want to order some roses for the upcoming season. Heritage roses are so wondrous.

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  5. I have roses in my front yard in a specific spot and one at the side of the house - both areas are the only two spots with enough sun. The Antique Rose Emporium sounds wonderful, would love to visit it if we ever made our way to Texas - actually sounds relaxing.

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