What is HelpMeFind Roses?

HelpMeFind.com is the indispensable go-to website for rose information.


When a rose like Celsiana (above) is mentioned here on the blog, HelpMeFind always gets a consult first. When I was researching French roses prior to 1927, I found out that this gorgeous rose was bred in the Netherlands before 1732 and introduced in France in 1817.




Most of the roses featured or mentioned here on ROSENOTES link directly to their HelpMeFind page. This valuable resource has listed over 44,000 roses, and has posted more than 160,000 pictures. Lots of those photos were posted by people like you and me!




The magnificent Garisenda in full bloom at the Sacramento Historic Cemetery brought up so many questions, the most important being, is it in commerce? HelpMeFind listed four nurseries and only one was in the U.S. at Rogue Valley Roses in Oregon. 


What are some of the questions you usually have about a rose? Do you want to see more pictures of a particular rose, do you want to know about a rose’s growth habit before you buy it? Do you want to know it it’s right for your garden space, your climate? Do you wonder if its fragrant and if it blooms throughout the season? You might even want to know about its parentage and when and where it was discovered or hybridized. You'll find the answers to these questions and so much more at HelpMeFind.




I learned about Francis Dubreuil's other name, Barcelona, when I looked it up on HelpMeFind. You never know when such discrepancies might be helpful.  


On the site it says, "HelpMeFind should not be confused with simple "listing" websites - it is a continually growing and evolving site run by seasoned professionals intent on using the internet to collect and organize insight and experience from resources and people around the world."


This wonderful resource has no advertising and supports itself through donations. Anyone can use the basic tools of the website for free. For a $24 yearly donation, you'll have access to even more helpful features, you can even upload your own photos of particular roses to enrich their entries.


Enjoy HelpMeFind and let your rose friends know about it!





Where and How to Buy Rose Bushes

Rose bushes are available for purchase in three interesting and accommodating ways: from your local nurseries; through the mail; and at special rose events. I recently updated our Rose Sources List and decided to put this information in a separate post. Normaly it would just be basic info but, because of Covid 19 mail ordering roses is probably the most practical option. This post covers the other two options as well, because they all intersect and will hopefully be viable before too long. 


Bare root rose shipping

Mail ordering roses can be a very exciting process, because the sky is the limit, meaning your choices are much greater. You can also plan the roses you want to purchase well in advance. This lovely package of grafted bare root roses came to me all bundled together in plastic. Bare root roses can be placed in a bucket of water for a few days if you can't plant them right away. Click here for our online Rose Sources List and here for a downloadable pdf.


Own root roses mail order
The plants above are rooted cuttings growing in soil in a pot called a band, which is 5-inches long. You might think they look too small, but these lovelies really take off when planted. I have purchased so many roses this way and how exciting it is to receive the neat little packages with canes all leafed out and growing. They can be delicate, so keep an eye on them. Make sure they don't dry out and you might want to add a rock or two, near the plant for protection from feet or garden tools.

 You might like to download a hard copy of the mail order list.





Roses purchased at special events

Civic gardens, local rose festivals and auctions are wonderful sources for purchasing roses. The plants are often rare and usually rooted and nurtured by volunteers from various rose groups and societies. The white rose above is an unknown spinosissimas I purchased at The Celebration of Old Roses, an annual event in El Cerrito, CA. And the pink one is Hansa, a hybrid rugosa I found at the Sacramento Heritage Rose Garden at their annual open garden. Northern California has a number of events like this each spring. Check out local rose societies in your area for information about such events. It's a real treat to buy roses this way, because surprises are inevitable and the sellers might have interesting information about the roses. Events like these will undoubtedly be canceled this year, but I hope you're happy to know about this fun way to add to your rose collection.



Bare root roses packaged

Your first stop for roses is usually at your local nursery or garden center. Because of Covid 19 most nurseries are closed, but I've heard some are offering curbside pick-ups. Rose season always begins with the sale of bare root plants (roses budded to rootstock). The roses are dormant, which means they are not actively growing. In California bare root season is from December to January. On the East coast bare root season begins in April. Some nurseries have fresh plants buried in mounds of sawdust that they pull for you. Others sell bare rooters in plastic sleeves. Take a good look at the canes on the sleeved plants to see that they are strong and well-formed. This isn't the most ideal way to purchase a rose, because the roots have been cut to fit in the package, but I've never had a problem.


Potted nursery rosebushes

As the weather warms, roses are sold in pots usually in the five gallon size. Above is a group of plants I purchased for a client, and here they are waiting for planting day. Early in the season the roots on potted plants might be loose, because they have not been in the pot that long. Be aware of this as you remove for planting, or just leave it in the pot awhile longer until roots grip the soil. You can always count on nurseries having a great selection of roses on Mother's Day. Also it's just fun to hop in the car anytime to see what roses are available.

Wishing you happy rose hunting and collecting – stay safe and enjoy your garden.


Great Red Roses

. . . the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant . . . 


Barcelona rose arrangement

A mere 110 million roses, mostly red, will be sold in the three day period surrounding Valentine's Day! Yes, florist roses can be beautiful, but what about the great red roses in our own gardens? Here are ten that I love in my garden. Maybe they will inspire you, and if you have your own favorites, please share them in comments. Barcelona, above, is arranged with plum leaves, marjoram and fuschia.



My number one favorite is Oklahoma, not only for its rich red/black coloring, but at each stage of opening it's spectacular, from bud to full open bloom. The one above will have progressed in at least two more stages to finally reveal a cache of burnished gold stamens.


Oklahoma red rose

Oklahoma hybrid tea rose

Oklahoma in the garden

Since my garden is planted in color blocks, all the red roses reside in a rich harmony together. Oklahoma mingles here with Mr. Lincoln–both are tall Hybrid Teas that reach at least six feet.



Duet, a Floribunda, couldn't be more dependable and has been giving us her beautiful silver-backed blooms for more than twenty years!



Duet shrubs are in the four foot range for height and width.


David Austin reds are well represented with three spectacular beauties that are all excellent growers between five and six feet. That's Tradescant in the center with Falstaff above and The Prince below.



Chevy Chase is just plain fun to have in the garden and a real show stopper. Small blooms form bouquets on a stem that are easy to use in arranging. Try making a Chevy heart and take a phone shot to send next Valentine's day.



Chevy Chase is a robust, once blooming climber that deer stay away from (it's pretty thorny) in my California garden. On the other side of the fence are the more tender reds, Duet especially, which before the deer fence installation, was always first to get nipped.



This mixed bouquet has a couple of light red Teas that are outstanding performers. Side by side, in front are Mme Antoine Rébé and Monsieur Tillier. Rébé is in the five to six foot range and Tillier is more like 8'x8', or even more with the right growing conditions. For more about these two take a look at this post.



Barcelona, also known as Frances Dubreuil, is from the 30's and is just plain charming–always blooming with coloring that matches Oklahoma, on a light, airy shrub with smaller blooms.



Last but not least, the glorious Peter Beales Gallica James Mason.



This is one of those roses I was wowed by at a show and just had to have, but of course couldn't find anywhere. Then one day I stood before it in a Sonoma county garden! Easy to propagate–just pull on a cane, and up comes roots and all. This is for the serious connoisseur who has room to spare, for it's a once bloomer that creeps all over the place. I wouldn't be without it though. 


To find out more about these roses, which I hope are tempting you, click on the brown links in the text. They are all connected to the invaluable rose info site helpmefind.com. On each rose page at helpmefind there is a "buy from" tab for purchasing sources. Let me know what you think and tell us your favorite red rose.