Now's your chance - J&P is going on the auction block.

Going once…going twice…

“An auction scheduled for Aug. 23 will determine the collective fate of horticultural catalogers Jackson & Perkins Co. and Park Seed, Multichannel Merchant reported. Both companies had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy five months ago.”


I think I was 12 when I hoped J/P would go away. I dont think I am that lucky, though.

I remember looking at Headliner and thinking that it was trashy. It was bred in 1985 from Love x Color Magic. Love is pretty cool for its time. Its one of the few J/P roses post-Boerner that I liked. Color Magic is cool in its own right, too, but its notoriously winter prone at from 1978. J/P came out with a multitude of roses bred from Color Magic in the 2000s, most recently in 2008 with Catalina. Some roses are decent breeders for 30+ years past their intro date, but hybrid teas rarely are. They usually have a brief shelf life due to increased need for health/vigor and swift trends in form/color. Usually, in my opinion, the main reason to want to go back in time regarding hybrid teas is for specific color. Purple, mauve, orange and reds are probably more time specific than the other colors. Older yellow colors are rarely ever better than their proteges.

The problem is that J/P seems to insist on using the same parentage formats in various but predicted ways with roses they previously bred. In some rare occasions, they bring in new material (Ingrid Bergman, Herbie, Princess Alice and Showbiz are some prime examples) but the hybrids are often of less quality than the genetics theyre imported. Check out the majority of their red floribundas for a prime example.

And some of their hybrids are simply put out for market saturation. For example, their competition against Flower Carpet Pink was Happy Trails – a rose with one of the worst roses possible for blackspot as a pollen parent (Immense x Roller Coaster). Likewise, they tried to capitalize on the success of Pink Simplicity by expanding the color range. Pink Simplicity, for those of you that do not know, is basically something similar between the idea of Iceberg and Queen Elizabeth that grows straight as an arrow vertically. It was marketed as a hedge and therefore became very profitable because people ordered in bundles to create hedges. It was fairly boring but suited its purpose. For the most part, it really did create a 4’ hedge that needed minimal care. It got some minor disease but it mostly did what it said it would do. J/P then decided to release more colors. Each variety introduced was worse than the former. By the time they got to mauve, they created a rose that had the vigor of a modern floribunda, was mostly bred from miniatures and defoliated univerally everywhere.

So, yeah, I hope J/P goes away. Its probably not a popular opinion. There are better roses on the market and there are better commercial outlets. Weeks is a fairly decent example. They can be hit or miss but they are consistant at trying to innovate at the basic consumer level, which is really the main requirement of a commercial garden rose marketer. Its obvious that they mostly try to make smart choices in rose breeding for the consumer. Star Roses has also been doing fairly well in that regard. So, yeah, I think other companies are better for the generalist gardener. I am glad that J/P made a few gems worthwhile in the past 30 years but I think its time for them to exit the scene, especially since theyve been pawned around to any available profiteer for many years now. J/P lost its intrinsic meaning ages ago, imo.

My grandmother was the rose lover in the family who got me interested in roses. I have fond memories of poring over the Jackson & Perkins catalogues at her house, comparing the fragrances, petal counts, foliage etc. and trying to decide each year which roses I liked best. They had lots of Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, Minis and Climbers, and the Simplicity roses as well. This would have been the mid to late 1980s–I don’t know what the value of their rose introductions would have been at that time in terms of lasting garden or breeding value, but the impression one got from the catalogue was of a company going strong.

By the time I’d gone through grad school overseas and gotten married, I was ready to have my own garden. When we returned to the US in 2002 I sent off for a J&P catalogue. Knowing nothing about the internal goings-on in the company, purely from the catalogue, the impression was of a company just going through the motions. Selection and variety were nothing like what they were in the past. I didn’t order anything from them because by that time they had nothing I wanted. It’s sad to have to say it, but Jadae may be right in saying that they lost their ‘intrinsic meaning’ some time ago.

Yeah, companies in horticulture require a human touch, otherwise the meaning is lost. Its not somewhere like Target or Safeway where branding and patterns can be made because horticulture, much like other fields like fashion, design, etc, are always on the move and always involved with people. If a horticultural company’s heart is not “in it to win it”, a lot of the meaning is lost.

Even though we have not ordered or purchased any roses from J&P for several years, I think that with the economy the way is is, and in particular for the rose industry, I hate to see any business go under as I’m sure most do. For every business that closes, jobs are lost - not good under any situation! I hope they survive this in some format or fashion.

Corporations are absolutely heartless.

Having worked for a couple of large nurseries, and knowing the people in charge had no knowledge or care for horticulture was very disheartening.

Many of them actually resent employees with a horticulture background.

I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

I’d rather support nurseries run by people who have a love and interest in their product and clientele.

Yeah, I was the only one with such a degree. We did about $20 million/year out of branch where I worked. The only person that came close was the office manager but her degree was in botany from a religious university that did not use science. Needless to say, she didnt actually know what the plants were. And, yes, it does put a huge arget on your back. But that never stops endless plant questions from being asked, of course. Robert is correct, in my opinion, because the entire goal of our operation was to flood Lowes and Home Depot as much as possible. It had absolutely nothing to do with plants. They could have been bricks. After I had moved on, it took me about 3 months to finally get SKUs from running through my head.

“the entire goal of our operation was to flood Lowes and Home Depot as much as possible.”

Ok thats the same what Tantau (and partly Kordes, too) and Austin does.

Thats the reality nearly everywhere, I think.

At least the amateurs often do have the better ideas, what to cross. :wink:

Only thing: if you get once into that machinery - you follow the rules.

Seems there is no third way to go, i have to admit.



"I say good riddance to bad rubbish.

I’d rather support nurseries run by people who have a love and interest in their product and clientele. "

Agreed. All we are losing is an anachronistic behemoth that pumps out endless cookie cutter roses for the sake of profit. That model has died, and its finally taking J&P with it. Lets give the future to smaller nurseries that actually give a sh*t about what they do and love their product.

Wow, I am surprised. J&P’s roses have been pretty much worthless on the East Coast, but I thought they were popular in the West where blackspot is not an issue. I also thought J&P expanded its market beyond roses.

I know a lot of nurseries are having difficulties, so I guess I should not be too surprised.

Most of them BS pretty badly here in Western OR and WA. Tournament of Rose and Bill Warriner start out looking pretty awesome. Come July, they look pretty wasted. They repeatedly use lines of roses that have poor blackspot resistance here (Sunbright, Impatient, Intrigue, Roller Coaster, Sequoia Gold, New Year, Sexy Rexy, etc). Every once in a while they use much cleaner parents for here repeatly (Amber Queen, Singin in the Rain, Showbiz, Ingrid Bergman).

I kept Bill Warriner for like 5 years even though it would defoliate. I exhibited and sprayed back then. So, even with spray, it would blackspot and defoliate. I loved it because it was in a spot in a formal bed that required a “2 - 3.5’ pink floribunda”. The bed was graduated. It went from 3’ to 5’ to 7’ upwards from the driveway. So, roses like Solitaire, Touch of Class or Pride of England were in the back. Also, no one color was near any other color. In other words, the bed created a formalized, graduated rainbow. If anything, you definitely could not miss the house! Bill Warriner was the only pink floribunda that I did not loathe (I seriously hated Sexy Rexy, Gene Boerner, Pleasure, etc). Had I been aquainted with the Buck roses back then, I probably would have went with Mountain Music and saved a lot of hassle. Even though I loved Bill Warriner and won some lame trophy with a spray of it (trophies are not that excting, btw, unless youre into tarnish remover), it was not worth exposing myself and others to the wonderful world of fungicide carcinogens. Nor was it worth exposing myself to needlessly-aggressive exhibitors as a teenager lol :stuck_out_tongue:


I am waiting for the company I used to work for to eventually go belly up and join a similar process. I’d love to see the fat, money-grubbing, racist, sexist owner’s face the day that happens, lol. Yeah, he makes Boss Hog look like an angel. Ask me how I really feel :smiley:

I am glad that the forks for Park’s got to keep their jobs for 3 years. That was nice to hear, especially since theyre mostly niche jobs that are not easily transferable into other business fields.

Let me know when this trend ends … my head will be in the sand – waiting =)

Corporate buy outs are dicey in the horticulture biz. MBA’s and horticulture are often not a easy fit. Most just don’t understand what it takes to make it work.

Just to show how deep a hole Park/Wayside/J&P was in–

one source says it listed assets of $8.33 million and liabilities of $44.79 million when it filed for Chapter 11 protection.

A few more specifics at the link below.


I wonder how change in ownership will affect J&P?

Yeah, Robert. That is probably the biggest issue I have seen in horticulture. One is lucky if any of the crooks running the show have an MBA.

I dunno how the change will affect J/P. I do know that Edmunds struggled for the first two years and is finally getting on the ball with proper product. However, once that consumer trust is lost, its time consuming and expensive to win back. No matter what (I think its Jung that owns them now?) they do, they will not likely have the family touch that Edmunds had. That was part of the --culture-- of it all. In other words, when buying from pre-sale Edmunds, one was part of a cultural experience. Now, its akin to a classier line of Home Depot rose product.

I need to put an ad on Craigslist for a crystal ball :slight_smile: