With all the hoopla in the press recently over the current Pope’s retirement I remembered this post written in 2011 upon my planting of ‘Pope John Paul II’ hybrid Tea roses in my garden. The life of a Pope is filled with such pomp and circumstance, yet also full of solitude fortitude and rectitude. . Something to consider, yet again…..

The Redneck Rosarian

I recently added a new hybrid tea to my rose garden. “Pope John Paul II.” This lovely white rose was introduced by Jackson & Perkins in 2006. It was hybridized by Dr. Keith Zary and is a cross between the roses “Secret & Fragrant Lace”.  It is said to be one of the most durable white hybrid tea roses in commerce today.  I have also verified with my own nose that it does have some fragrance! A light citrus scent. Woot! Woot!

This rose is named in honor of the beloved Pope John Paul II was specially selected by the Vatican and is now planted in the Vatican gardens overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica. 

While I am not of the Catholic faith, I had and have a great respect for this man. When he died some years ago, I remember writing a few things I have learned from him. They were brought to mind as I…

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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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