>Impromptou Garden Tour – Duke Rose Garden

>I received a telephone call just as I was in full swing power washing the driveway. It was Allison Duke, a friend. She wanted us to come by her mother-in-laws house and help them sort out all their rose care products. Allison’s, father – in law was quite a rose gardener. He was a member of our Rose Society, but I had never met him and heard that he had been quite ill. Sadly, Mr. Duke passed away before I had the privilege to meet him. His wife and family want to continue to maintain this garden.

Tina and I drove over to Ms. Duke’s home and was blown away to find a beautiful garden with around 300 or so roses bushes!!! The rear garden was laid out in the Italian terrace style, cascading down a gentle slope with a perennial cutting garden on the right, a climbing rose garden to the left, and an azalea garden at the rear. All roses were perfectly spaced and expertly marked, it was a rose gardener’s dream….. We sorted out all the fertilizer and sprays, and walked the garden and talked for about two hours. Mrs. Duke served the most delicious cheesecake and iced tea….(house wine of the south)… Alas, I was without a camera, but I will get back over there during the bloom season and take some shots……

All in all a wonderful afternoon!


About Chris VanCleave - America's Favorite Rose Gardener

Christopher R. VanCleave – America’s Favorite Rose Gardener Nicknamed "The Redneck Rosarian”, Chris VanCleave is passionate about gardening and growing roses. He is an active member of the Birmingham chapter of the American Rose Society, serving two terms as President. In 2007, he created the Rose Chat Podcast which has reached over a half a million listeners with news and information on growing on growing the world’s most beloved flower, the rose. He was a contributor to the 2015 Southern Living Gardening Book, has appeared on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home television show and was featured in the June 2015 issue of Southern Living Magazine. Locally, Chris serves as Chairman of the Helena Alabama Beautification Board where he has spearheaded efforts to create a sustainable landscape in one of the top one hundred places to live in the United States. His writing is seen at About.com and on his popular website; RedneckRosarian.com, where he chronicles his gardening adventures and explores an intrinsic mix of life, faith and gardening. An agent of change with over 20 years’ experience in process innovation, Mr. VanCleave is leading the charge to reinvigorate horticultural societies and helping them to reach their full potential in the social media age.
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