Miranda Lambert Rose Announced – Certified Roses Scores An Awesome Introduction With A Purpose

Miranda Lambert Rose - Photo Credit: Certified Roses

Miranda Lambert Rose – Photo Credit: Certified Roses

Country music fans around the world are rejoicing tonight on the announcement today that Certified Roses is introducing a rose named for Grammy award winning singer – songwriter Miranda Lambert.


Miranda Lambert Hybrid Tea Rose- Photo Credit: Certified Roses

The rose is a fragrant hot pink hybrid tea that will be turning as many heads as her namesake. Large 5″ blooms on a large bushy shrub is a virtual bouquet making machine  with an intense “rose & fruit” fragrance.  Source: CertifiedRose.com


Miranda Lambert – Founder of Mutt Nation Photo Credit: Certified Roses

When Miranda is not on the road singing to sold out crowds, she devotes much of her time to Mutt Nation. This foundation was founded by Miranda in 2007 with the mission to end animal cruelty, neglect and homelessness.  Certified Roses has pledged a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of this rose to Mutt Nation.


The introduction of this rose will be a win win by providing another beautiful rose for people to enjoy and also helping to end animal cruelty.

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The Future Of The American Rose Society Is Now

The future of the American Rose Society​ is important to me. I have been a member of a number of years and want to see this organization thrive and grow so we might pass it on to a new generation of rose lovers.

pat shanleyI had the honor of chatting with Pat Shanley tonight on the Rose Chat Podcast. Pat is the incoming President of the American Rose Society. She takes office later this year and she spoke with us about her vision for the ARS and also talked about sustainable rose gardening.

I think we need a clear path and strong leadership if we are to survive as a horticultural society.  I must say that I wholeheartedly agreed with what Pat had to say.

I am a firm believer that if we are to remain relevant in the social media age we have to find meaningful ways to connect with gardeners and we must treat everyone with respect. Rose societies are not just for an elite group of individuals in polyester pants and bad attitudes, they are for EVERYONE and anyone who is interested in growing the world’s most beloved flower. I for one have worked very hard to tear down barriers that hinder folks from joining and I can tell you that I will get behind anyone who will beat that drum and work to see that everyone comes to realize the true mission of the ARS; to provide information and resources that enhance our knowledge and appreciation of the rose.  Hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to this insightful interview.   PODCAST LINK

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Get Low! Here’s How to Prune Your Roses

The end of February in Alabama is a signal to sharpen your pruners and get to pruning your roses. I spent most of the weekend pruning and still have a few more to go! I made this companion video to give some illustration to what I have outlined below I hope you will find it to be of some benefit.

I follow 3 D’s when pruning roses in spring:

  • Remove DEAD canes
  • Remove DISEASED canes
  • Remove DAMAGED canes

I also look for and remove crossing canes that rub against one another and will ultimately damage one another. The photo below shows the result of this type of damage.

Damage from crossing canes on roses

Damage from crossing canes on roses

Since modern repeat blooming roses bloom on new wood, I tend to prune them low, down to about 18-24 inches from the ground.  Our roses are already putting out new growth, so it was very easy to tell where to cut. If possible, you want to cut where the new growth is facing away from the center of the shrub. This new outward growth promotes good air circulation in the center of the shrub. This is an important factor in keeping down disease.

I do not prune my climbing roses at this time. I continue to allow them put out new growth. I don’t prune them until after the first cycle of bloom. Then I trim and shape as needed. This also applies to any once blooming roses I have in my garden.

We weed and remove any debris that may have fallen or blown into  our rose beds during the winter. Diseased leaves will overwinter in your garden and if you fail to remove them, it will cause you disease problems in the spring.  We apply a fresh layer of mulch during this time.  This new layer of protection will keep weeds down and help with moisture retention. We use mini pine bark nuggets. It beaks down quickly in the garden and adds to the mix of the soil.

I had the help of three great tools in the garden made pruning 150+ rose shrubs a lot easier

  1. A sharp pair of bypass pruners – Do Not use anvil type pruners. They can damage your roses.
  2. A pair of gauntlet gloves – allows you to get in “up to your elbows” as needed. Wendy Tilley at TheRoseGardener.com has these at a great price.
  3. A good set of loppers – Needed for removing the 3 D’s from your garden. Mine are actually a two handed pruner from Corona Tools USA 

By following these simple steps, help get my roses off to a good start for the bloom season that is surely ahead.


Posted in #MooPooCrew, #roses, Alabama, Pruning, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Great Times at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show

We had a wonderful time talking roses at the recent Birmingham Home & Garden Show. We were greeted by large crowds who were eager to learn about growing roses, hear home remodeling tips and the latest from those Fabulous Beekman Boys.


Arriving backstage at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show

I am always looking for a way to haul my “stuff” to and from these events. I was introduced to United Solutions totes last year and it has served me well. The tote comes with a strap that is adjustable and has proved very handy on these trips. Many times you have to park a distance from the venue you are speaking at and walk. Being able to throw my things in the tote, sling it over my shoulder and go is awesome! I even use it at home in the garden. Throw it over my shoulder and off I am to do my rose gardening chores. Makes for a handy clippings basket and allows me to keep both hands free to work.

Once I got setup with the AV folks, I set out to meet some of the other speakers.

Awesome to meet John & Whitney Spinks from HGTV's Flipping The Block

Awesome to meet John & Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping The Block

Met up with John & Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping the Block – this dynamic couple really does have a passion for all things design. You can hear it when they speak and see it in the designs and makeovers they create while keeping it all on a budget. They were the winners of last year’s Flipping The Block Series and have a design business in Jacksonville, Florida.  Check out the Drab 2 Fab blog

Super excited to meet Josh & Brent aka The Fabulous Beekman Boys

Super excited to meet Josh & Brent aka The Fabulous Beekman Boys

Before I went on stage, we got to chat a few minutes with  Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge better known as the Fabulous Beekman Boys. I tell you these guys are the real deal.  Many of you know them from their hit reality television program on The Cooking Channel where they chronicle their lives on Beekman Farm. They raise goats on the farm and have a goat cam! It is the coolest thing. Check it out. Here’s a link to the cam.  They also won “The Amazing Race” Focus. Goats. Mercantile….. Check them out!

Talking Roses at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show

Talking Roses at the Birmingham Home & Garden Show

Now for the roses. From selecting the right type of rose to fit your personal needs to combating common problems with disease and pests, coupled with a live pruning demonstration, it was a great time.

We always take things to giveaway at these events. This one was no exception.

We gave away a copy of  Paul Zimmerman’s book “EveryDay Roses” courtesy of Star Roses & Plants. 

We always have a supply of Haven Brand Soil Conditioners that folks always clamor for. It is simply the easiest way to fertilize all indoor and outdoor plants without worrying about using harsh chemicals.

Haven Brand Soil Conditioners

Haven Brand Soil Conditioners


The awesome folks at David Austin Roses sent me gift certificates to give away at the show. Lucky winners walked away with a choice of two of David Austins latest introductions:


Maid Marion


The Lady Gardener








This young lady walked away with an awesome rose from the David Austin Collection of English Roses

This young lady walked away with an awesome rose from the David Austin Collection of English Roses

As you can see from the photo this young lady was filled with great joy! Check out her flower covered tights. Her mom told me she insisted on wearing those in honor of the day! Thought that was precious.


It was a great show. I am honored to be asked to come and be a part of these events. Growing roses tends to bring out the best in people, I know they have brought out the best in me.



Posted in #roses, 2015 rose introductions, Alabama, Best Of Birmingham, birmingham home and garden show | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2015 Birmingham Home & Garden Show – Y’all Come!


The Birmingham Home & Garden Show is this weekend at the BJCC (Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex) and I hope if your in the Birmingham area you’ll come see us.  I will be speaking on Saturday at 11 am and on Sunday at 1 pm. I’ll be covering the entire gamut of growing roses as follows:

We will be showcasing the latest collection of new roses from famed English rose hybridizer, David Austin. During my presentation we will be giving away a select number of gift certificates to lucky winners.

David Austin Logo Hi Res

You can save 50% off of the ticket price when you use the code ROSE at checkout

We will also be showcasing my favorite soil conditioner, (Haven Brand Soil Conditioner) at the show and will be giving away samples for gardeners to use at home.

MooPoo Tea

MooPoo Tea

You’ll also want to check out those Fabulous Beekman Boys, John & Whitney Spinks from HGTV’s Flipping The Block and Christie Dedman, Birmingham’s Bargain Mom! Not only can you hear these speakers, there will be Master Gardeners on hand to answer questions in the gardens area, rows and rows of craftsmen and tradesmen with the latest trends not to mention several beautifully designed gardens from local designers and landscaping companies.

Hope to See you there!

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Preserving Valentine’s Day Flowers


Well, the most wonderful time of the year has arrived for the floral trade: Valentine’s Day.
Roses dominate the United States as the #1 flower to give on this occasion and folks are always wanting to know how they can preserve extend the life of the blooms they receive.


Here are my tips for getting the most our of your Valentine’s Day bouquet

  • If they arrive in a box or wrapped in cellophane, remove them immediately and prepare them for a vase as follows:
    • Fill your container with equal parts water and lemon-lime soda (sprite or 7UP)
    • Add two aspirins
    • Cut the end of the stems of each of the flowers and foliage you receive. The roses don’t care whether you cut straight across or on a slant. Just cut them. This cut allows the stems to be hydrated.
    • As soon as you cut them plunge the stems into the mixture of water, soda and aspirin. This combination of sugar and pain reliever seems to do the trick!
    • Arrange as necessary.
    • Repeat this step every 2 days. As the stems become shorter and some of the blooms begin to fade, divide and move them to smaller containers. As the additional filler foliage fades, I add some from my garden. Rosemary, boxwood and others make great fillers and will give your blooms a new look.
    • Most people find that by following this course of action, you can extend the life of your blooms up to 14 days.

I hope all your Valentine’s Day Dreams Comes True!


Posted in #roses, Alabama, Articles, tips, valentines day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Chase Away The Winter Blues With This Awesome Amaryllis GIVEAWAY

AppleBlossom Amaryllie

‘Apple Blossom’ Photo Credit: Longfield Gardens

If there is one bulb that comes out of Holland that I am enamored with, it’s an Amaryllis. We grow heirloom Amaryllis here in our Alabama garden outdoors. So easy to grow, many are grown indoors and provide such joy in the dark winter months.


‘Spartacus’ – Photo Credit: Longfield Gardens

The folks at Longfield Gardens carry a beautiful selection of Amaryllis and other bulbs for garden. With over 80 years of combined experience in the bulb industry, they bring quality bulbs for all to enjoy.  Check out their website at LongfieldGardens.com 

I am proud to be able to offer this giveaway to my readers. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post as to why you would love to have one of these beauties… Contest closes at Midnight Friday February 13, 2015. Winner will be announced on Saturday February 14, 2015.

Good Luck & Happy Gardening

UPDATE: Saturday Feb 14, 2015:
Congratulations to Bernice of Realistic Cooking Blog, winner of our Awesome Amaryllis Giveaway. 

Thanks to all who entered!

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Paying It Forward With Flowers – Repeat Roses

We had the honor to chat with Jennifer Grove of Repeat Roses this week on the Rose Chat Podcast. In 2014 Jennifer launched a company in New York City that takes wedding flowers and flowers from corporate events and turns them into small bouquets that are in turn delivered to hospices, nursing homes and other non-profits. It’s a mission to improve corporate sustainability, deliver joy and enhance the emotional health of those in need.

View More: http://cmostr.pass.us/repeat_rosesI don’t think I’ve ever attended a wedding that there wasn’t an abundance of flowers. To think that these can now being re-purposed for the social good is something I can get behind. Can’t you?

Hope you’ll give a listen to our latest episode of the Rose Chat Podcast

RCR_Repeat RosesPodcast LINK-LISTEN NOW

Our show has been nominated for a Shorty Award!
shorty_badge_300x250_usPlease show your support by clicking http://www.ShortyAwards.com/Rose_Chat and show your support.

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Welcome February – While The Rose Garden Sleeps, It’s A Busy Time For Rose Growers


Dunn Formal Rose Garden In Winter – Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Can hardly believe that it’s already February! Luckily, from what I can tell our garden has not suffered any winter damage. Usually by the end of February, we begin the pruning process. Here in Birmingham which is growing zone 8a, we prune at this time for two reasons:

  1. The threat of a heavy frost has usually past and it is safe to do so. By this time any tend new growth would not be damaged.
  2. Our annual rose show is held Mother’s Day weekend at our Botanical Gardens and we want to have blooms to exhibit in the show. Not so much for a ribbon or trophy (although it would be nice to win) but as a display of what can be grown in this area.

So the preparation process begins:

  • Selecting and ordering new roses
  • Creating or doing maintenance to garden beds
  • Has my soil been tested lately?
  • Do I know how to prune my roses?
  • Are my pruners and other gardening tools clean and sharpened?

Two events are happening this month in Birmingham that I wanted to share. Both are geared toward helping answer all your questions about growing and caring for roses in this area.

bhamhomeshow2015The first of these events is happening Valentine’s Day weekend at the BJCC. The Birmingham Home & Garden Show offers an outstanding array of merchants, home improvement and cooking ideas and even the best ways to save! They even invited me to speak on growing roses!

Check out the Line up of Guest Speakers:

Half price tickets are available if you purchase online using the discount code ROSE at checkout Click http://homeshowbirmingham.com/BHGS/Buy-Tickets/45.aspx  I’ll be speaking Saturday Morning at 11 am and Sunday at 1 pm.  For a few lucky winners, I’ll Haven Brand Soil Conditioners to give away as well as gift certificates for roses from the 2015 collection of David Austin English Roses.

Pruning Event 2015If you’ve ever wondered how to prune roses, the Birmingham Rose Society is offering a awesome opportunity to learn! Saturday February 28 they are hosting their annual “Head Over Hills” pruning event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. I’ll be there pruners in hand along with my rose growing friends eager to help you learn about growing the world’s most beloved flower! We’ll offer hands on experience and share our tips for pruning for maximum bloom! This event is FREE and open to the public.  Read more at BirminghamRose.org 

There has never been a better time to start growing roses! Hope to see you this month!

Posted in #roses, Best Of Birmingham, Birmingham, birmingham botanical gardens, birmingham home and garden show, celebrity speakers, free class, gardening events, seminar | 2 Comments

The Key To Boundless Possibilities In 2015

2247f6283eb811e38e7222000a1fb921_8As we say goodbye to 2014 and the chill of January grips us, I am reminded that the true life of a plant lies beneath the ground. The root system of any plant is the foundation by which the beautiful form and structure of a plant is made. It is from this structure that beautiful blooms and foliage are produced. Without a strong foundation upon which to build, plants are spindly, unsupported, and can ultimately fail.

Once that foundation is established, the plant enjoys a season of growth, and afterwards, pruning must take place. Pruning is the cutting away of the old growth to allow for new. For many plants, pruning takes place during a period of dormancy.

SAMSUNGI am a firm believer in pruning the dead away, in my garden and in my life. Each spring, just before my roses break dormancy (late February here in Alabama), you can find me with my pruners in hand; cutting back old wood and spindly unproductive growth, and clearing away debris that the winter wind has blown in. This process allows for new vigorous growth of plants. I then apply fertilizer, and water along the way, and before you know it, you will see stunning new growth and an abundance of blooms.

I apply this same principle to my life by making learning a lifelong pursuit. As long as we are open to learning and growing, things can move forward. When we stop the learning process, we tend to sit, soak, and sour, and no one wants that. Grab a new gardening book. Our libraries are full of them. >Summer Reading - Garden Books

Why not plan a raised bed garden for the coming year, and then build it. There is nothing like fresh vegetables in the summer or the sight of beautiful zinnias smiling at you from the garden. It all begins with a pack of seeds and some soil. I am reading about some great new roses for the coming year. Why not check them out? The possibilities are boundless.

Each year, I make it a point to also examine myself in such a way that can bring about change and growth. I look at old habits and see what needs to be cut back on or totally eliminated. I look at ways to eliminate the things in my life that just seem to take up time and are not productive. I also try to clear away any “junk” that I have physically and spiritually, because it’s important to nourish our bodies as well as our souls.

I am reminded in my daily scripture reading of how much we are connected to God through Christ, and that we are His workmanship, and as the passage tell us, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (John 15:2 NIV). I don’t know about you, but I need to be open to spiritual “pruning” on a daily basis. I strive each day to possess the wisdom to recognize and cut away from me any bad fruit produced, to allow for vigorous new growth of mind, body and spirit.




I am counting down the days until spring and I can’t wait to share another season of blooms with you!

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