An Unexpected Snowfall

Tuesday started out like any other day in Birmingham. I had a meeting at 10:30 across town and as I left my office, I began to see a few of the predicted “flurries” that had been in the local forecast, but were to pass over with little consequence. The real weather event was to have hit south of us. When I came out of my meeting, the ground was covered and it was snowing hard. The weather front had shifted north and I was in for a wild ride.  It took me 10 hours to travel home down 65 South. This trip normally takes about 30 minutes. I finally made it home about 10:15 pm Tuesday evening after sliding my way past jack knifed 18 wheelers, pedestrians who had abandoned their vehicles and various other obstacles on the roadways…..

Taken From My Car Tuesday

Taken From My Car Tuesday

This is a very rare occurrence for the Deep South. We have absolutely no municipal infrastructure in place to handle these types of weather events and needless to say thousands we were caught off guard, left their jobs in a panic and ended up sliding off roadways and having to abandon their vehicles on the interstate and side roads in an attempt to reach home. Many were able to only reach one of the many makeshift shelters that opened in local churches, fire halls and other public buildings. Many others opened their homes to passersby and provided much needed warmth and shelter. Sadly, some people lost their lives and my prayers and thoughts go out to their families today.

We southern folk are quite resilient and with temps forecasted to be in the 60’s this weekend, we’ll be back to “normal” in no time.

Here are a few shots of the rose garden covered in snow:

Our Rose Garden Covered In Snow

Our Rose Garden Covered In Snow

A Lion In Winter

A Lion In Winter

Our broken winged angel  offers up her heart full of snow

Our broken winged angel offers up her heart full of snow

Side Garden Covered In Snow

Side Garden Covered In Snow

Ever steadfast, our Bird Girl watches over our garden all year long....

Ever steadfast, our Bird Girl watches over our garden all year long….

It will be interesting to see in the days ahead how many of my beloved roses have survived  Snowmageddon 2014!





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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14 Responses to An Unexpected Snowfall

  1. Ana Duran says:

    Oh! still looks wonderful. I like the broken winged angel so pretty.


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  4. seniorhiker says:

    I hope all of your roses survived. I’m anxiously waiting to see how our roses do with the coldest winter we’ve had here in years.


  5. Chris, so glad you are safe! I would have booked a room. 10 hours??? No way.
    I had merely 1″ here of the lightest powder imaginable. Very slippery and I ended butt down on the front slope while attempting to feed wild birds. No damage other than to my silly sense.
    One benefit of being partially retired…no commuting, no alarm this time of year, and no freeway!
    Take care of your sweet self…love your winter garden pics…Diane


    • Oh my, sorry to hear about your fall. Be careful.. Those birds not to mention the rest of us need you! If there had been a hotel room in a 10 mile radius open, I would have walked to it… As it was, folks were sleeping in hotel lobbies and home depot’s! Glad to see temps in the 40’s today. Take care…


  6. The snow IS beautiful in your garden but I’m sure very scary on the roads. So glad you have the steadfast Bird Girl–she’d looks regal draped in snow. Perhaps she can coax the roses into hanging in there! Our weather forecast is not good for this week … Ice then more snow — possibility of LOTS more snow.


  7. hoehoegrow says:

    Gosh, snow must be as rare as hen’s teeth for you in the South ! Fingers crossed for your roses. I find mine are all very hardy here in the uk but I don’t grow Chinas as they would struggle through our winters. What a strange world we are all inhabiting at the present time – the weather is doing such strange things . We have had an extremely mild winter so far with masses of rain and unprecedented flooding.


    • Thanks for stopping by. Up until this year, it has been very rare indeed. Barely a dusting of snow in the 15 years I have lived in Alabama. Most of our roses are hardy and heat tolerant. Never imagined I’d have to worry much about cold hardiness.. Ha…. Yet, here we are in the midst of a polar vortex that will likely cull out for me the weak shrubs. I have been reading accounts of the flooding in and around Somerset Levels in the UK, such a shame. Be safe. Anxiously awaiting spring!


  8. Glad you arrived home safely, Chris! We are in the midst of a very heavy snowfall, near blizzard conditions. I believe it is the same storm you suffered through, now traveling north east. I know I will find damage in my garden come springtime, and just hope the roses will survive. I have a question: is it possible to move a rose plant (if it survives this winter, that is?) Some of mine are looking a bit too crowded. P. x


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