Rose Chatter – Wiregrass Rose Society

This past weekend, I had the privilege of being asked to speak at the Wiregrass Rose Society’s annual Fall Rose Seminar in Ozark, Alabama.

“Rose Chatter” printed program

The event was held at The Potting Shed, an awesome garden shop venue just off the square in Ozark.

Great outdoor venue. You can see the early birds already gathering…

The Wiregrass Rose Society went all out to make attendees feel welcome with beautiful arrangements, a FREE rose for every attendee, “Redneck Swag Bags” filled with gifts from local merchants, great doughnuts, and the best Apple Julep I have ever tasted… I liked it so much I got the recipe:

Apple Julep:


  • 4 Cups Apple Juice
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Jar Maraschino Cherries


  1. Pour all juices into a 2 quart pitcher and stir well.
  2. Add in 3-4 Tablespoons of juice from jar of cherries and stir again. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Serve over ice, with a cherry in each glass. Garnish with mint or Lemon Balm, if desired. Or just drink it and leave the plants in the yard!

Recipe courtesy of 

I cut about 6 roses from my garden and took with me to pass around and discuss the various varieties of roses and their growth habits. I have found that a little bit of knowledge up front goes a long way in whether or not you are happy with your roses in the long term. I also had a chance to share about Annie Haven’s Moo Poo Tea and everyone attending the conference receive a FREE bag of Haven Brand Authentic Alfalfa Tea for roses to try.  We talked soil, selection, planting and of course care and maintenance.  The good folks at Corona Tools were kind enough to allow me to demonstrate the tools needed for those who grow roses using their line of tools. They too were passed around for people to see for themselves what is needed.  I believe this hands on approach will go a long way in raising the comfort level of novice gardeners and is also an encouragement to move to the next level in their gardens.

Rose Chatters gathering for the seminar


Corona Tools on display

We had a great time. It was a great turnout and I really enjoyed getting to know some of the rose growers in that area, many of whom were first time rose growers. It is exactly these types of grass roots level events where experienced gardeners come side by side with novice growers that empowers people to grow. It is the essence of the local rose society in America.

My sincere thanks to the Wiregrass Rose Society for sponsoring this event and for inviting me to be a part of it.



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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13 Responses to Rose Chatter – Wiregrass Rose Society

  1. Pingback: Rose Chatter – Wiregrass Rose Society | Natural Soil Nutrients |

  2. Chris, You are so.o.o knowledgeable! I wish I could have been at your talk. Got to try that Apple Julep — I think I’ll be more successful with that than with my roses. P. x


  3. Pingback: Rose Chatter – Wiregrass Rose Society | Garden Roses |

  4. starproms says:

    There was a good turn-out and I’m sure your talk was enjoyed by all. Congratulations.


  5. What a beautiful place. Looks like a super fun event! And, I know they received great information. Love the “Redneck Swag Bag” idea! Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe too!


  6. Wow, Chris what a lovely day and beautiful setting for your speaking engagement. I am so honored to have had you share Haven Brand | Soil Conditioners with all who attended Great Redneck Swag Bag!


  7. Holleygarden says:

    Looks like a beautiful setting for a talk about roses. I’m sure everyone came away enthused and confident in growing roses in their own gardens. Thanks for the recipe – it sounds delicious!


  8. Fantastic Chris! I’m sure they were thrilled to have you there, sharing your knowledge.


  9. debsgarden says:

    Thanks for the apple julep recipe. Sounds delicious! I know everyone must have had a great time. Can you believe how cold it suddenly is today?


  10. Pingback: Rose Chatter – Wiregrass Rose Society | Family Lifstyle |

  11. Pingback: Rose Chatter – Wiregrass Rose Society « 1lifestyles

  12. Pingback: Rose Chatter ~ Wiregrass Rose Society | Anything Goes in the Garden |

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