By Jill Brooke
While there are many rose farms that have invested in Instagram-worthy photography and promotion, Chamblee’s Rose Nursery in Tyler, Texas is not one of them. Maybe that’s because this team knows that insiders in the flower industry world rave about how their roses are so vastly superior – so perhaps they don’t need the promotion. After all, people find them and love them.
I first discovered this small farm from rose expert and Jackson & Perkins contributor Paul Zimmerman. I asked Paul this question. “What are the most fragrant roses I can buy?”
Now I’ve asked that question often, but the flowers I received never lived up to the hype. However, after ordering roses from Chamblee – including the uber fragrant Beverly and the extravagantly prolific climbing rose Peggy Martin – which they are famous for – I was thrilled and delighted. I want to thank them every day because the petal pink “Beverly” calms me and enthralls me with the rose oil scent that I also show to visitors to our garden. Plus, it reblooms with abundant whimsy.
First opened in 1953, Mark Story and daughter Krista Friend purchased Chamblee’s Rose Nursery in March of 2019. The previous owner, Mark Chamblee, managed the nursery since 1973 and continues to be an integral part of the business as we move forward.
“Our goal is to offer excellent quality roses at a reasonable price,” says Brittany Story who also works with her father. “Every rose we grow is guaranteed to be strong, healthy, disease free, and true to variety.”
Although they used to provide roses for the famous Tyler Texas Festival, now they are focused on getting consumers gorgeous blooms that have been tested in their garden laboratory.
They have over 200 varieties of roses available for shipping directly to your door, but definitely check out the Beverly and of course, the Peggy Martin climbing rose. I’m a big fan also of Twilight Zone, Alfred Sisley and Brilliant Pink Iceberg for their bright bold colors. Plus their collection includes 105 varieties of root roses with some that date back to the 1800s.
As far as the most fragrant and popular, Brittany Story shares these beauties as choices – “Beverly, Oklahoma, Sugar Moon, Miss All American Beauty, and Mister Lincoln.”
1)What is their superpower?
“The flower that makes us special would be the Peggy Martin climbing rose that survived two weeks under water during hurricane Katrina,” says Brittany Fried. “It is a sought-after rose and we are one of the few nurseries that carry it.”
2) Challenge and Solution
Big is not always better. They stick to their own lane of specialty roses and work on testing to make sure the quality remains. Staffing is an issue so keeping it small means they can maintain “the family atmosphere we have at our nursery.”
There are times when some flowers were not ready for primetime and distribution. It’s hard to do but they decided in the short term to be okay with not selling them and wait for the quality ones to maintain their reputation.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD, floral editor for Aspire Design and Home magazine and contributor to Florists Review magazine.