October In The Rose Garden

The end of the rose growing season is upon us and here are a few rose care tips for October:  
What’s bloom in in your garden this week? Here are a few of my blooms:


Double hedgerow of Knockout & Drift roses


Veterans Honor


Repeat blooming Iris


Pope John Paul II


Princess Alexandra of Kent


Posted in #roses, Alabama, Care And Feeding, Garden, Knock Out Roses, Landscape roses, Pope John Paul II, sustainable roses | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

#ItsARoseThing at the American Rose Society Fall Nationals – Syracuse, New York

This year has been a whirlwind! Our Rednecks & Roses speaking tour has been a rousing success, but also a tiring one. My blog posts have suffered, but I am alive and well, traveling along the highways and hedgerows talking to anyone who’ll listen about growing roses.

We are winging our way to Syracuse New York this weekend to take part in the biggest rose party of the year! The American Rose Societies Fall National Rose Show and Convention. Sponsored by the Syracuse Rose Society, its sure to be a memorable event.

A full line up of speakers from around the globe will be on hand to enlighten and inspire.

L to R: Michael Marriott, David Austin Roses, UK. Alain Meilland, Meilland Roses, France. Bill Radler, creator of the Knock Out rose, Thomas Proll & Steve Hutton, Star Roses & Plants (not pictured)

L to R: Michael Marriott, David Austin Roses, UK. Alain Meilland, Meilland Roses, France. Bill Radler, creator of the Knock Out rose, Thomas Proll & Steve Hutton, Star Roses & Plants (not pictured)

We’ll also see rose entries from around the U.S as the nations top rose exhibitors bring their best blooms to the show to be judged.

The new president of the American Rose Society will take the oath of office and we’ll have a lot of fun in between.

pat shanley

Incoming American Rose Society President Pat Shanley

The Rose Chat Podcast team will be on hand to record the event as only we can. Hope you’ll follow along and join us on Social Media. Just post a picture on Instagram or Twitter using the #RoseChat, #ItsARoseThing or #ARSCon2015 hashtags and we’ll feature you on our giant social media wall at the convention.


Stay tuned for highlights next week!

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Grow Roses for A Colorful Landscape 

Where has the summer gone? We are already on our second flush of blooms in Alabama and I must say that this rose season has been one of our best.  We’ve made lots of changes in the garden this year. Lots of new varieties, new hardscape curbing and we are also adding more perennials to the garden. Check out some of the awesome color we’ve experienced this year. Roses make for a colorful landscape and with varieties such as Proven Winners OSO Happy and OSO Easy roses, coupled with Knockout Roses we are enjoying a constant stream of color in the garden.   Best of all, they require NO Spray, just a semi-annual haircut, and stand up very well in the Alabama heat!


Candy Oh in the foreground, Double red Knockout behind, and Cherry Pie in the center bed left.

Purple Rain – Kordes Shrub rose. short well rounded shrub with TONS of blooms

Francis Meilland NO SPRAY hybrid tea rose along with Peggy Martin rose growing on the fence makes for a colorful display in the garden.

Red Drift roses surround our mailbox. A little girl passed our house the other day and told her mom, look mom the flowers match the flag on the mailbox!

A view from our neighbors yard. Yes, they too have caught the rose bug…. Peach Drift roses in the foreground and Candy Oh in the background.

I simply love the fact that no matter where you turn on our property, you see roses. From every window of our home when you look out you see roses. It’s good to have rooms with such a view.  What’s blooming in your garden this summer?

Posted in #roses, Alabama, drift roses, Knock Out Roses, Landscape roses, no spray roses, oso Easy, oso Happy, sustainable roses | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

First Flush Of Blooms In Our Alabama Rose Garden


Josephs Coat – Climbing Rose


Heathcliff – David Austin Rose


Belinda’s Dream – Earth Kind Rose


Sally Holmes


Climbing Colette


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Roses In Bloom This Week

With much of the hardscape now completed, we have time to sit back and enjoy the roses. Here are a few of the blooms we are enjoying this week.

‘Blushing Knockout’



‘OSO Happy Smoothie’


‘Old Blush’


‘Mary Rose’



What’s blooming in your neck of the woods this week?  

Posted in #MooPooCrew, #roses, Alabama, Blushing Knock Out, Hybrid Tea, Hybrid Tea Roses | 8 Comments

First Bloom of 2015 – Climbing Pinkie

Each year we eagerly await the arrival of the first bloom of the season. This year, our beautiful earth kind climber, ‘Climbing Pinkie’ blessed us with a first bloom. Soon this shrub will be full of thousands of tiny blooms that will be the delight of those who see it.

Climbing Pinkie - Polyantha

Climbing Pinkie – Polyantha



This rose grows on our back fence and welcomes friends and neighbors to our garden each year. It always waves to those who pass in the alley. It’s sort of our Drive Thru rose lane.

In other news, We continue to make changes to this tiny garden. We removed a diseased tree, added some real fancy concrete curbing that replaced any number of types of rock and brick we used to keep our bordered beds in check. With the removal of the tree, our bird girl statue needed a new home, so we relocated her to a new spot in the garden. After she was placed, we planted three shrubs of ‘Crescendo’ a beautiful hybrid tea rose named for the Nashville Symphony to surround her.



What’s happening in your garden this spring?

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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.

Posted in #roses, Announcements | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in #roses, Rose Chat Radio, Rose Show, Rose Society | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 , , , , , , , , , , | 9 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