Be an Advocate for Roses

Advocacy is defined as “public support or a recommendation for a particular cause or policy”. It’s no secret that I have long been an advocate for roses. Whether it’s traveling on a national speaking tour speaking to rose societies on remaining relevant in the social media age or standing in the baking sun at a local garden center showing a crowd of interested rose lovers just how easy it is to grow a rose or speaking out when legislators try and remove a historic rose garden from our midst, I believe we must be advocates for the things in our lives we love the most.


I want to encourage you to become an advocate for roses. June is National Rose Month. Here are a few ways you can become an advocate for roses:


  • Help someone in your neighborhood plant a rose. Sometimes all it takes is an offer to help and that one act of friendship could create a world of change in that persons life. The bloom of a rose is empowering and if we can help place a little knowledge and know how into someones life, we’ve done a good thing.
  • Join a local rose society. We all need advice a local rose society is ground zero for the mother ship of rose societies, the American Rose Society. Both are ready to help you with knowledge and information on growing roses. Check out for more information.
  • If you’ve been growing roses for a while, why not volunteer at a local garden center to teach a class on growing roses? If your not a public speaker, remember I was a shy introverted kid growing up who was too scared to raise his hand in class. Ha. If I can do it, anyone can. You don’t have to be perfect, Lord knows I am not, you just have to be genuine.
  • The #1 thing I do that has spread the love of roses to those around me is to share my blooms. Cutting a few blooms and delivering them in a jelly jar will do a world of good for a downtrodden soul. Give it a try.


It was a great honor to receive a tweet from Helena Mayor Mark Hall last week telling me that I was on the cover of the June issue of Shelby Living Magazine! This magazine is a popular business and lifestyle magazine.  The folks from the magazine had visited my garden but I had not idea I was their cover guy! What an honor! What a great way to kick off National Rose Month!  mark tweet


How will you become an advocate of roses? I’d love to hear all the creative ways you share your love of growing roses with the world around you.  Leave your comments below. Many thanks and happy rose month!




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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7 Responses to Be an Advocate for Roses

  1. I visited the RHS London Rose Show last week. As an event it’s only in its second year and is still quite small, but I am sure it will grow. We’ve had a cold start to the year so many of the growers struggled to get their plants into bloom for early June, but it was still a lovely and beautifully scented affair. I did my bit by buying a colleague a rose (R. “Jacqueline du Pre”) as a leaving gift.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. michelleendersby says:

    As well as sharing my joy of painting roses and visiting rose gardens through my newsletter, this year I am also very excited to be writing a novel set in a rose garden and it’s all about roses and transformation.


  3. Susan Fox says:

    Hi Chris,
    The American Rose Society provides real value for your membership investment. I believe the American Rose Society provides more member benefits than any organization I’ve ever been a part off. I’ve been a member since the 70’s!!! Join today folks you’ll be glad you did. I think getting the American Rose magazine 6 times a year and the American Rose Annual alone is worth the membership investment. Thanks Chris for all you do to bring rose lovers together.
    Susan Fox
    Gaga’s Garden

    Liked by 1 person

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