The Gift of a Rose – Sally Holmes


Sally Holmes

I’ll never forget the first time I saw this rose. It was at the Birmingham Rose Show. It was not entered in the competition but instead was in a vase on the welcome table.  Birmingham rosarian Gloria Purnell has cut a single stem cluster of this rose as big as a beach ball and placed it on the table for all to see. It was a showstopper! I knew then, eventually i’d grow that rose. Tina and I had the privilege of visiting Rose Petals Nursery while attending the Deep South District Mid Winter Meeting in January. Owner Cydney Wade gave us a personal tour of the nursery and it was a great pleasure to see all the roses growing there. Cydney is an advocate for Old Garden and Antique rose varieties and has an awesome selection. She shared her thoughts with me on a recent episode of the Rose Chat Podcast. Listen HERE 1043Cydney was so very kind. She walked us through the nursery showing us all the beautiful roses that were growing. As we wrapped up our visit, she presented us with a shrub of ‘Sally Holmes’ to take with us as a remembrance of our trip. How did she know I had secretly filed away the desire to grow this beauty? We were overjoyed! This gift was one that we cherish and have enjoyed seeing this rose grow and blossom. It has brought us great joy not only to us, but to visitors to our garden as well. Sally Holmes is a beautiful climbing rose with blooms like apple blossoms. It is a vigorous climber and is almost always in bloom. I have always said there are no people like rose people. Generous, kind, fun loving and always willing to share a rose in the hopes that you too will want to learn more about growing the most magnificent flower in the world. On my Facebook page this weekend I asked folks if they ever gave garden roses as gifts. Here are some of their responses: RR1 rr2 So I will now ask you the same question. Do you give garden roses as gifts? As a pass a long plants?  I’d love to know how you share roses with the world around you.


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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6 Responses to The Gift of a Rose – Sally Holmes

  1. Countrypkin says:

    I give bouquets of my roses to everyone. I also have given potted roses. Mine were a gift from my husband, who often says…. “I think the rose bush was the best gift I have ever given you. I love to see you get such enjoyment out of it everyday. You look to be in your happy place when you are tending to your roses.”
    I do love to be in my harden, and the scent of roses is the absolute best.


  2. Leslie says:

    in Sacramento, CA, will this rose, Sally Holmes, grow on a north exposure with mostly shade mid afternoon on over a small covered door way? I love these single petaled old roses.


  3. Pingback: The Gift of a Rose - Sally Holmes | Annie Haven...

  4. Gloria Ballard says:

    The Christmas after my father-in-law passed away, my husband thought of giving each of his children and grandchildren a rose bush to plant in our respective gardens in his memory. The varieties we have are ‘Sunshine Daydream’ and Peach Drift, but we all call them our “Jimmy Roses.”


  5. I give a rose bush to family every year. I usually send a bush that I have tried out in for myself first. My sister lives in Arkansas and so it is easy to order online and send it straight to her. She has done the same for me and I have found that rose bushes make great Christmas gifts. Sally Holmes is a fantastic prolific bloomer that would surely make a great gift. I have two in containers and they tower to about 5 feet. I especially love the way they bloom in a cluster like a bouquet. Their yellow centers and bright white petals make a great addition to my white rose collection.


  6. hb says:

    I’ve given a few. I always offer to plant, or show how to plant, then the following year offer to show how to prune (not much the first few years), so that the gift is not a burden or worry to the receiver. It’s created a couple new rosarians, so it’s a good thing.


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