Friday WOW! – Grande Amore’ Hybrid Tea Rose

Just had to share this spectacular bloom of Grande Amore’ a beautiful red hybrid tea rose from Kordes roses. Second year in our garden with no spray and is producing some beautifully fragrant blooms.


Hope you have a great weekend!

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Friday WOW! The Van Lear Rose

20140727-080355-29035397.jpgThis beautiful rose was introduced in 2011 by Select Roses and is named to honor country music legend Loretta Lynn’s 50 year anniversary in the music industry. Still new in my garden, these first year bloom have been show stoppers!


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The Gift of a Rose – Sally Holmes


Sally Holmes

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this rose. It was at the Birmingham Rose Show. It was not entered in the competition but instead was in a vase on the welcome table.  Birmingham rosarian Gloria Purnell has cut a single stem cluster of this rose as big as a beach ball and placed it on the table for all to see. It was a showstopper! I knew then, eventually i’d grow that rose. Tina and I had the privilege of visiting Rose Petals Nursery while attending the Deep South District Mid Winter Meeting in January. Owner Cydney Wade gave us a personal tour of the nursery and it was a great pleasure to see all the roses growing there. Cydney is an advocate for Old Garden and Antique rose varieties and has an awesome selection. She shared her thoughts with me on a recent episode of the Rose Chat Podcast. Listen HERE 1043Cydney was so very kind. She walked us through the nursery showing us all the beautiful roses that were growing. As we wrapped up our visit, she presented us with a shrub of ‘Sally Holmes’ to take with us as a remembrance of our trip. How did she know I had secretly filed away the desire to grow this beauty? We were overjoyed! This gift was one that we cherish and have enjoyed seeing this rose grow and blossom. It has brought us great joy not only to us, but to visitors to our garden as well. Sally Holmes is a beautiful climbing rose with blooms like apple blossoms. It is a vigorous climber and is almost always in bloom. I have always said there are no people like rose people. Generous, kind, fun loving and always willing to share a rose in the hopes that you too will want to learn more about growing the most magnificent flower in the world. On my Facebook page this weekend I asked folks if they ever gave garden roses as gifts. Here are some of their responses: RR1 rr2 So I will now ask you the same question. Do you give garden roses as gifts? As a pass a long plants?  I’d love to know how you share roses with the world around you.

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Summer Blooms

Where has the summer gone? August already? Here are a few blooms I have captured from the garden this summer. More to come. My camera is full.


Up close with ‘Scentimental’ floribunda


New rose for us this year: ‘Neil Diamond’ from Weeks Roses for 2015


‘Veteran’s Honor’ – Superior hybrid tea. Great for bouquets


My favorite climber: ‘Climbing Pinkie’ No spray – easy care. Blooms like mad!!!!

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The Golden Gate Experiment

In March of 2013 I received several shrubs of ‘Golden Gate’ a beautiful yellow climbing rose to try in my garden from Certified Roses. From Kordes, Germany, this rose is known to be very hardy and disease resistant as well as producing a multitude of fragrant yellow blooms.

As I was potting them up I thought I would conduct an experiment. I would give a shrub of this rose to a friend who has never grown roses and let him plant, water and fertilize and see how the rose progresses over time.  No sprays or chemicals to be used. Only organic fertilizer.  When I gave the rose to my friend Mike, he looked at the bare root plant and said “i’ll give it a try”.

This spring, I began getting texts from Mike with photos of this rose and its progress.
Mike it seems is quite a woodcrafter. He built a trellis for the rose to climb upon and the photos below not only showcase his handy work as a trellis builder, but you can also see the amazing results you can achieve without chemicals when you plant the right rose in the right spot.


Golden Gate – Kordes – KORgolgat


Large open blooms of Mike’s ‘Golden Gate’ climbing rose


A profusion of fragrant blooms from Golden Gate Climbing Rose from Kordes, Germany

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Received this photo this week. Now that the flush of blooms as faded, the rose has gone to work to produce more canes for the next round of buds and blooms

The photos were taken from May till mid July and as you can see, no disease on this rose at all to speak of.  Our own shrubs of Golden Gate has done equally as well, winning us “Best Climbing Rose” at the Birmingham Rose Show this year. Now I just have to convince Mike to plow up more of that green grass and plant some other awesome roses!!!!!

*Photo Credit: Michael Atkinson

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Growing Great Roses – Biltmore Rose Trials Interview for HGTV Gardens

It was my great pleasure to have been interviewed by Mick Telkamp for HGTVGardens on growing great roses and my thoughts on the Biltmore International Rose Trials recently held at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. I hope you’ll click through and read the article.

Click the Photo to read the article

Click the Photo to read the article


Click  the link to read the article at HGTV Gardens website

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Roses in Bloom this Week

We are seeing our second flush of blooms here in our Alabama rose garden. I have only seen a few (dare I mention the name) Japanese Beetles this year which is a relief after a terrible bout with thrips which seems to plaque our white roses each year.  Nonetheless, we have seeing some very pretty roses. Here are a few that are blooming this week.


Doris Day – New Floribunda from Weeks Roses


Moonstone – Hybrid Tea


St. Patrick Hybrid Tea


Veterans Honor Hybrid Tea

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Wordless Wednesday – Ronald Reagan Hybrid Tea


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OSO Happy Smoothie – A Proven Winner

We have added quite a number of shrub roses to the garden this year including one from the Proven Winners Oso Happy collection called ‘Smoothie’. We have planted these in large containers and they are filling out quite nicely and are producing some pretty blooms. One other nice feature of this rose is that it is thornless.


Early days yet, but we are seeing no sign of any disease on the shrubs and I am anxious to see how well they fare in our hot Alabama summers.

We are now growing quite a number of Proven Winners roses in our garden among them: Cherry Pie, Honey Bun, Candy Oh, Petite Pink and of course Smoothie.  Some are second year shrubs and are doing quite well. No Spray. Sustainable roses…. Who would have thought……

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First Day of Summer

It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago we were in the grips of the polar vortex, now the heat of summer is finally kicking in…

Just wanted to pause a moment and say thank you for following this blog. Roses tend to bring out the best in people I know they brought out the best in me. Enjoy the summer.


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