Why Can’t I Find roses in my area except for Knock Out
I am an experienced gardener who loves roses. Real Roses. However, for the last 10 years I am finding it harder and harder to find a variety of roses. Everyone, everywhere carries only Knock Out. I get that Knock Out is a great rose for beginners or for those who don't want to bother with caring for roses. And I don't fault them. But, for gardeners like myself who enjoy the different varieties and colors and personalities of other roses, what I call Real Roses, it has been a frustrating time. When I first came to roses there were all kinds of roses available and David Austin roses were the big thing. And we had so many different varieties of not just Austin's roses but, shrub roses like Austin's with its vigorous habit and beautiful flowers and scent. Up here in Northern Illinois we also had the Canadian Explorers. And of course the old roses and tried and true ones. How fun. And it was with these roses that I learned very early on to bury my roses deep due to our winters. Then, one year they were all gone. All you could find was this generic rose. One size fits all. The big Box Store of Roses. And all those wonderful roses - how many will be lost forever? Simply because no one can buy them at our garden centers. Yes, I can order. But, half the fun was discovering who had what in a particular year. Why is it that no one carries real roses anymore in favor of this generic rose? I am so tired of wonderful little things being wiped out by generic big box everything.
You answered your own rhetorical question. KnockOuts are great for beginners AND busy families. Life just seems more hectic as both parents work and children are enrolled in outside activities. How many parents make meals from scratch? The economics for retailers are tougher than ever. Competing with big box stores and Amazon is destroying a lot of retail stores. If you search online for "rose retailer near me" you may find a retailer within driving distance. You can also ask the big name growers, like David Austin Roses, where they have retailers in your area. The KnockOuts have their place but can't compare with the scent, form, and challenge of older varieties.