A package arrived on our doorstep Saturday morning. It was my favorite kind of package… plain, brown… and with the words “Live Plants” plastered all over the side! The problem is, when I placed the order for it last November, I had specified it to be shipped after April 15 (the supposed last frost date in our area). I also noticed that the package appeared to have been re-taped and it seemed a bit dry.

So, this morning I figured I had nothing to lose by taking a minute to call Jackson & Perkins, letting them know about the condition and to see if it was okay to plant the rose in our freezing temperatures. I spoke with a horticulturist on staff, Steve, who should win awards for customer service. He was extremely helpful by sharing what I needed to do with the rose until I could plant it later this week (when the evening temps climb a bit). As we were getting ready to hang up, he told me he thought I should get a brand new rose and that I could keep the one that arrived on Saturday free of charge! Two roses for the price of one. Ah, the Lord is good.

Check it out. It’s an antique rose by the name of Zephirine Drouhin. I will be planting one on either side of the pergola that will one day sit in its reserved spot. Until then, the roses will get a jump start climbing to around 8′. They’re a beautiful shade of pink, very fragrant, and practically thornless. Three of my favorite features!

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