Durham has been dreary and cold for the past couple of months. Few sunny days have interrupted our cloudy days with rays of bright warmth. The dismal winter months can be hard on rose lovers. Once you winterize your rose beds, there is not much to do except crack open the Witherspoon Catalog and dream about the new roses you are going to add to your garden in the spring.
|2014 Catalog – Click photo to browse our catalog|
Even when the days are cold (well what we North Carolinians consider cold) and wet, here at Witherspoon we are always working hard to provide the best roses for your garden. The gardens are quiet, but here at the shop we are getting ready to unload, grade, and pot up approximately 24,000 roses. That’s right, 24,000!
|Unloading the refrigerated truck from Weeks|
The first step in the process is to unload boxes of bareroot roses from refrigerated trucks that traveled from the sunny state of California all the way to Durham, North Carolina. These boxes of roses have been carefully packed in wet moss and kept around 35° F. This insures that the roses stay dormant for the entire trip across the country!
|Bareroot roses ready to be graded and pruned|
We then proceed to unpack and grade the roses. Here at Witherspoon, we only sell premium grade one roses. A grade one rose is two years old and has been meticulously pruned to produce at least three strong healthy canes. Each bareroot is inspected to make sure it meets our standards before it is trimmed up and prepared for potting or placed in cold storage.
Our cold storage unit is 1000 square feet and is kept around 36°. This unit keeps all of our bareroots cool and moist until they are pulled out, trimmed up, and packaged for shipping or pickup. We have guys who work in our cold storage unit for hours on end preparing bareroots to ship out as well as make sure that they stay within the proper temperature so that you, the customer, receive a bareroot rose that is healthy and will grow well for years to come. We are very thankful that they are willing to work in such a cold environment to help us provide the healthiest bareroot roses possible.
|Cold frames are filling up!|
Even though we offer bareroot roses, the majority of our roses get potted up and grown out in our cold frames until the first of April. The potting up process can be daunting, but all of the route managers and assistants come into Durham from our satellite locations to help pot up! It is cold hard work, but seeing the cold frames fill up with pots of roses that will begin to leaf out is exciting! While the landscape around us is asleep, lying in wait for the warmth of the spring sun, our cold frames are filled with roses ready to wake up and share the beauty and brilliance that only they can offer.
2015 Update: winterFEST 2015 will be Jan. 23-24, 2015. Pick out your new roses from the 2015 catalog.
Witherspoon’s first sale of the year will be January 25th!
Visit our Online Store or visit one of our Gardenshops to take advantage of…