In America, Some Dreams Do Come True – Presidential Roses

In a world where we sometimes begin to believe that our dreams can’t come true. One of mine is coming together this week.

The office of President of the United States is one that has been occupied by only a few. They, for their term of office are considered to be the leader of the free world. They face incredible scrutiny and also exultant praise.   Our Presidents and First Ladies have come from all walks of life and each have their own style and for some, a rose named in their honor. As our nation presses onward toward another election, and the debates drone on and on, I am once again dreaming of roses.

Way back in 2007, I blogged about the possibility of a presidential rose bed. A rose bed with only roses named for Presidents and First Ladies. Several things have kept me from realizing this dream, but as I have learned with most things in life; Be patient. When the time is right, it will come to pass.

Last fall, I had the opportunity to purchase 2 Ronald Reagan hybrid teas. As I mentioned in a previous post, I love this rose, not only for its striking beauty, but it was President Reagan who signed the proclamation declaring the rose our “National Floral Emblem”. ARS rating: 7.7

This week, I purchased a “Lady Bird” hybrid tea named for the beloved First Lady, “Lady Bird” Johnson. Her establishment of the Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin secured her place in the hearts of gardeners everywhere. I can remember as a small boy, watching her on television waving a gloved hand “plant a tree, a shrub or a bush, beautify America!” It was no surprise to me when they announced a rose named in her honor. ARS rating: 7.2

Next in this Presidential rose bed, is the “Barbara Bush” hybrid tea. A beautiful soft coral pink rose; it is said to be a source of inspiration in the garden. ARS rating: 7.4

Mr. Lincoln will round out my collection. He has been a favorite in our garden for several years often reaching over 8 ft tall in the summer. This rose certainly lives up to its namesake. ARS rating: 8.3

As I plant these roses, I am thankful for the incredible blanket of protection we all sleep under each night as Americans and I rejoice in the knowledge that we continue to inspire the world with a government elected “by the people and for the people” and to be a place where even the smallest of dreams can come true…….


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.
This entry was posted in #roses, Barbara Bush, Lady Bird, Presidential Roses, Ronald Reagan, Rose Reviews, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to In America, Some Dreams Do Come True – Presidential Roses

  1. roseman7stan says:

    Excellent article Chris. Fine reading indeed.


  2. Holleygarden says:

    What a great idea! This will be a great bed not only for the roses, but also for the history behind each administration. I look forward to hearing what other roses make your “Presidential bed”.


  3. debsgarden says:

    A tour of your garden would be fascinating, with each rose having a story to tell. I love the idea of the Presidential rose bed!


  4. Chris,
    Chester Arthur and Millard Fillmore are still waiting for their roses. 😉


  5. Christina says:

    Hi Chris, I love the idea of a themed rose bed! I think it is entertaining to collect roses fitting a specific theme and it certainly will strike up a conversation with garden visitors. From the roses that you have mentioned here in your post I only grow ‘Mr. Lincoln’, which is an incredible rose here in Southern California. The fragrance just knocks your socks of. ‘Barbara Bush’ looks also very appealing to me. I am curious to read how this rose is doing for in the future (I assume you just got it now). Good luck with your presidential rose bed. I would love to see photos of it this spring!


  6. Dear Chris, I love themed gardens and yours will be very special. I look forward to seeing it completed. Beautiful posting. P. x


  7. Patricia says:

    What an excellent idea. I’ve never seen a theme like this and it’s just great. ‘Ronald Reagan’ – I have a little bust of him where I can see it when I’m working. His rose is truly gorgeous.


  8. Greggo says:

    Nice read. Well done. Love the Barbara Bush. My wife met George Junior when he was governor of Texas. I’ll have to tell you the story sometime. Always enjoy your posts and try to keep up with your tweets!


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