First Frost 

  The first frost of the season arrived this morning and brought with it an eerie silence in the garden. It’s always a little sad to see the end of the bloom season arrive, yet a period of dormancy is a necessary component in the lifecycle of a garden. Now begins a period of contemplation and planning for the next season of blooms. 

I’ve already ordered several new climbers and am making plans to clear out a spot to relocate some of our roses and reconfigure the layout a bit in the hopes of adding a few more roses to our tiny garden. 

Stay tuned! 

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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12 Responses to First Frost 

  1. Linda Hagler says:

    How much do I prune off Ballerina in Feb.

    Linda Hagler

    Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty



  2. Kay Hubbard says:

    Where do you order your roses from? I enjoy your posts. Thank you. Kay

    Sent from my iPhone



    • For years I ordered from S & W Greenhouse in Tennessee. He is no longer selling roses online as of this year. I have had good luck with Witherspoon Rose Culture, For Love of Roses and Chamblees Roses. I try to buy from local Independent Garden Centers when I can.

      Liked by 1 person

      • roseman7stan says:

        You might take a look at the roses offered by Roses of Yesterday and Today. Guinivere runs this business and they have some of the older roses that no one else carries anymore. A true delight to deal with and the roses I get from them have always done very well too. It is good to support such folks as well as there are more each year it seems that stop selling on line or just flat hang it all up. So sad….


  3. Lesley McClave says:

    Chris, what climbers have your ordered? I have Hollywood coming, but have room for 1 more. I will miss S & W too. I also order from Rosemania and Palatine. Always thinking of next season.


  4. D'Arlyn Reed says:

    Hello, I have been a member of ARS for just one yr. and let my membership lapse.
    But now, after reading your blog, maybe I will renew again. I would like to know
    specifically which roses are best for Wyoming, zone 4. I need something hardy. I thought
    that Knock Out variety would be good. But they weren’t. So can y ou tell me which
    tea roses and bush roses would be good for this zone, please. I enjoy reading your


  5. D'Arlyn Reed says:

    I have let my ARS membership lapse, but now might renew after reading your comments
    from ARS. I am new to ARS and garden in zone 4, Wyoming. I would like to know which
    roses are hardy for Wyoming. …both tea roses and shrub roses, please. I have tried
    Knock Out Roses, thinking they would be hardy, but they were not. I have to cover my
    roses each winter. Winter kill is very likely here at -20 to -30 below. Thanks for any
    help you can give, Your pictures of your roses look spectacular.

    D’Arlyn Reed.,


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