>Summer Reading – Garden Books


I am always trying to broaden my gardening horizons. What better way than to sit at the feet of a master gardener and rosarian. Graham Stuart Thomas has written many books on gardening and even has a rose named for him. It has often been said of Sir Thomas that “he is the greatest gardener of our time, perhaps of all time.”
This summer, I am reading two of his books: “An English Rose Garden – Gardening with Roses at Mottifont Abbey” and “Great Gardens of Britian”.

This book outlines what is probably the greatest collection of old roses in Britain as displayed at the magnificent Mottisfont Abbey. With great depth, Mr. Thomas outlines each rose and their companions and how this garden came into being as it grows today. An excellent read.

In “Great Gardens of Britain”, he outlines how the National Trust came into being and how it has grown into the “gatekeepers” of Britain’s magnificent public gardens. He takes you on a wonderful journey through some of these jewels. I hope to finish this book by the end of August.


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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