Roses Worth Planting

I made my annual January pilgrimage to Hannas Garden Shop here in Birmingham. I never make a purchase on this trip. Instead I check out all the new roses they have just received and size up my order for February.  They are our largest local rose supplier and I have never gotten a bad plant or rose from them.

Now in Alabama (zone 7b), you can plant roses in late February. In fact, most of my mail order roses arrive the last week of February or the first week of March.

On today’s trip I found several roses that I have found to be real winners. I don’t grow all these myself, but know people who do and in this climate they come highly recommended.

“Fourth of July” – Climbing Rose

This beautiful rose is a tall climber. Several friends grow this rose and it is a smashing hit in the garden. Full of color and huge blooms, you will love this climber…

Julia Child – Floribunda

If you have read this blog for any length of time you will know that I not only grow this rose, but I love this rose! It is highly disease resistant and a prolific bloomer.  MUST HAVE!

Moonstone – Hybrid Tea

If you love cut long-stemmed roses, you’ll love Moonstone. Classic rose form. Slight fragrance. It is also a good show rose. Beautiful Color.

Cherry Parfait – Grandiflora

I love this rose. Planted enmasse, it really makes a statement. WOW! The color varies with the seasons from dark red and a little white, to white with a little red. If you don’t have a grandiflora, give this one a try….

Barbara Streisand – Hybrid Tea

I like this rose not only for its form and color, but also for its namesake and how this rose came to be named for Ms. Streisand. It is said that when approached about having a rose named after her, they suggested that she come to the growing fields and select a rose from the trial rose grounds. She selected a rose, but before she would allow her name to be placed on it, she had specimens of this rose planted in her own garden and tended them for several seasons before she would allow them to use her name on it. Pretty admirable.

So, why not give one of these a try this year? Or, if you’re me, you’ll want to try them all!

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 and on his popular website;, 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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19 Responses to Roses Worth Planting

  1. Angela Scott says:

    I love Hanna Garden Shop too. I am limited on sunny spots in my yard, but just planted five florabundas and four Hybrid Teas. I have a Cherry parfait and a shrub rose looking for a sunny spot. Thinking about planting a shrub rose and/or the Chery Parfait in a pot. What is your experience with roses in pots? Angela


    • I have several miniatures and a couple of hybrid teas growing in pots. Just make sure you get at least a 5 gallon pot with good drainage holes. They should do fine!


      • Angela Scott says:

        Thanks. Also, love the picture you posted of the greenhouse with your truck in the back ground. Are you sure you did not buy anything? I can not go there with out bringing something home. 🙂


  2. Lara says:

    What a great post! I can’t believe you get your roses as early as late February….mine do not arrive until the end of April and into May. Lucky you! 🙂


  3. Chris, love the photos and the recommendations. Now I have a couple for you since I have a bit of zonal envy and lot of zonal denial. Do you grow any old roses, like Tea or Noisette? My zone 8 is a bit of a hardship on this roses, though most years they come through. The Noisette was created in the South by a gentleman from South Carolina in the 19th century. They do tend to be space hogs though. Thanks again for sharing your insight and expertise.
    PS–any recommendations for online rose purchases?


    • check out They have an awesome selection of roses. Some of the English Ledgends roses are a site to behold… Love the Noisettes, but alas am out of room for the big boys. Need to find a bigger lot, perhaps a farm???


  4. Lona says:

    I really like the looks of that Cherry Parfait rose Chris. It is wonderful that you have such a large supply of roses nearby. Have you saw the new Mustard & Ketchup rose? I have it on my list for this spring.


    • I have three of those ordered for this spring. I’m either gonna love it or hate it. Still, I decided to give it a try… Going to plant in a triangle to try to get the look of one large shrub….


  5. Patricia Tryon says:

    Julia Child — that really IS a beautiful rose. Wonderful story about Barbra Streisand, too.


  6. That Cherry Parfait is a stunner. May have to try to squeeze that beauty into my already over crowded rose bed! There’s always room for one more, don’t ya think? 🙂


  7. Greggo says:

    Nice choices. You may make me a rose grower yet.


  8. You know I need the Julia Child rose!!!


  9. debsgarden says:

    Hi Chris! This time of year exciting, at least with anticipation, if not the actual doing! Your rose garden must be a joy and wonder to behold when all of your roses are blooming. Are you running out of space yet? What will you do when that happens?
    I also enjoyed your previous few posts. It’s nice to catch up. It was fun reading about your WordPress stats!


  10. Thanks for your comments. i am glad to be back. You wait to plant roses. I wait to plant hosta. I think winter wait makes the planting more fun. jim


  11. Delma Lozano says:

    Hi Chris I am in search of a great climber to plant under a tree I would like 2 , 2 different colors that would look great together. My new purchase these year was Lady Rose. And she is beautiful Thank You for all your advice.


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