About The RedneckRosarian

Photo Credit: Beverly Taylor

The term Rosarian is used loosely, redneck, liberally. Roses are for everyone! If I can do it, anyone can! This blog began as a hand written journal of my garden activities and was transcribed into an online journal of my roses and my life…. Full time banker Husband and Dad. Sometime short term missionary and gentleman Gardner. My life is filled with a wonderful family, great friends, beautiful roses, and God’s richest blessings. He has allowed me to travel the globe on short term mission trips. He has opened my eyes to a million wonders, including the awesome beauty of the rose.

I have been growing roses for years and about 6 years ago joined a local Rose Society to learn a “more excellent” way to cultivate our nation’s “National Floral Emblem”. It is fun and exciting to be a part of a group of individuals who are committed to excellence. I strive alongside them to grow the best roses I can. Many of my blooms do not end up on the show table, they end up on the dinner table and on the front doorsteps of friends and co-workers. Either way, I feel I am doing my part to expand the general interest and knowledge of the beautiful gift we have in the Rose.

– Chris VanCleave aka “The RedneckRosarian”


Member – American Rose Society
ARS Membership Committee – 2013-15
ARS Marketing Committee – 2013-15

Member – DeepSouthDistrict of the American Rose Society

Member – Birmingham Rose Society
Director           – 2013-2013 Birmingham Rose Society
Chairman         – 61st Annual Birmingham Rose Show – May 2013
President          – 2012-2013 (term ending July 2013)
Chairman          – 60th Annual Birmingham Rose Show – May 2012
President          – 2011 – 2012 (term ending July 2012)
Vice President  – 2010 – 2011 (term ending July 2011)
Vice President  – 2009 – 2010 (term ending July 2010)

Rose Chat Radio – Creator & Host

February 2012 – Present
Weekly Internet Radio Program – “Exploring the World of Roses

#RoseChat On Twitter – Curator & Host
Created this hashtag on Twitter to help people grow great roses!

Helena, Alabama Beautification Board 
Chairman – 2013-2016
5/6/2013 – Helena Alabama Beautification Committee Appointment


More On The Redneck Rosarian:

1/19/2014 – Accredited by the American Rose Society as a Consulting Rosarian

10/1/2013 About.com Article
New David Austin English Roses For 2014

9/1/2013 – About.com Article
What’s In A Name – Stunning Roses To Remember

7/1/2013 – About.com Article
Drift Series Roses – Star Roses & Plants

6/5/2013 – More on Helena Alabama’s Beautification Board

6/1/2013 – About.com Article
Roses That Will Fill Your Garden With Color

5/6/2013 – ‘Coretta Scott King’ Dedication Ceremony Commemoration of 50 years of the civil right movement in Birmingham 

3/1/2013 About.com Article:
New Roses For 2013

1/1/2013 About.com Article:
New Year’s Resolutions For The Rose Garden

12/09/2012 About.com Article:
Success & Failure in the Rose Garden

11/1/2012 About.com Article:
Earth Kind Roses

10/1/2012 About.com Article:
Fall Rose Care Guide

8/5/2012 About.com Article:
The Allure & Historical Significance of the Rose

6/23/2012 About.com Article:
Summer Rose Care

6/16/2012 ShelbyCo Magazine Article:
Supporting A Culture Of Home Grown Goodness 

5/1/2012 Shelby County Reporter – News Feature On Our Garden
Rose Gardens Abound In Helena, Alabama

4/28/2012 Friends Drift Inn – Guest Post
Thoroughbred Roses

4/09/12 ShelbyCoMagazine Article:
Every Rose Has A Story To Tell 

4/1/12 About.com Guest Post
Topic: Selecting Modern Roses For Your Garden

3/20/12 About.com Guest Post
Topic: 10 Rose Care Tips For Spring

2/22/12 – RoseChat on BlogTalk Radio Launch

Growers Success Summit 2012 – Sponsored by Corona Tools USA
Topic: Growing Roses: Planting, Pruning & Care

2/7/12 – ShelbyCo Magazine Article:
Boundless Possibility

2/7/12 – Guest Host on #GardenChat on Twitter
Topic: Earth Kind & Easy Grow Roses

1/18/12 – Guest Host on #HerbChat
Topic: “2012 Herb of the Year: The Rose”

11/21/11 – ShelbyCo Magazine Article:
The Thankful Gardener

9/30/11 – ShelbyCo Magazine Article:
Gardening Meets Social Media – Twitter Style 

9/28/11 PODCAST:
Preparing Your Roses For Winter via BGGarden.com

7/26/11 ShelbyCo Magazine Article:
Garden Walks: The Journey of a Lifetime

Costa Farms “Garden of the Month”

Guest Host on BGGarden’s #GardenChat on Twitter
Topic: “Selecting Roses For Your Garden”

Birmingham News
Article on the VanCleave Rose Garden, Helena AL

Guest Blogger – GaGa’s Garden – “Why I Grow Roses”

Rose Show Accolades for the RedneckRosarian

“Tiddly Winks” Miniature Rose

King – Floribunda 
Birmingham Rose Show 2012

1st Place – Best Open Bloom- Miniature
“Tiddly Winks”
ARS Certificate
Birmingham Rose Show 2011

1st Place – Photography Division – Miniature Bloom
‘Heartbreaker’ – Award of Photographic Excellence -Birmingham Rose Show 2011


1st Place – Best Table Setting
ARS Court of Etiquette Award – Birmingham Rose Show – 2010

1st Place – Best Novice Arrangement
ARS Novice Certificate – Parallel arrangement – Birmingham Rose Show – 2010

1st Place – Best Novice Bloom
Hybrid Tea/Grandiflora – “Tropicana” Birmingham Rose Show – 2010

Other Birmingham Rose Show Recognition – 2010
1st Place – Old Garden Rose – “Swamp Rose” – R. Palustris

56 Responses to About The RedneckRosarian

  1. Keri says:

    My mother-n-law gave me a knock out rose. I’m not the best gardener and have never owned a rose bush until now. I think I need to move it’s location. It’s getting too much sun in this Mississippi heat. Any suggestions?


    • Knockout roses love full sun and heat. They also love about 1″ of water per week for about the first 6 weeks after planting. Once established, they should thrive with only the water sent from above. Roses needs at least 6 hrs of sun a day to bloom. Hope this helps! Let me know how your rose does! Good Luck!


  2. Ryan says:

    Hello…i know nothing about roses but by mother-in-law loves gardening and especially roses. I would like to buy her a Christmas gift that has to do with roses. Can I order rose plants/bushes this time of year? Does she just keep them potted until springtime? we are in Tuscaloosa so I could go to the Hanna lady you recommend in Birmingham. Please advise!


    • Thanks for posting on my blog. Yes, you can order roses this time of year. The only problem is that they will not ship them to Alabama until late February or early March. If you visit Hanna’s Garden Shop here in Birmingham, you can still purchase them in pots and they will keep until Spring. She can plant them after the threat of frost has passed (early March).

      If you want to order online, here are a few places I have ordered from in the past with very good results.

      S & W Greenhouse:


      I hope this helps!


  3. Janet Roberts says:

    i heard today that if I send a picture that you can identify any rose. I have two in my yard that I would love to identify. Would you mind doing this?


    • I will do my best to identify your rose. The following info about your rose would be helpful:

      Does this rose bloom once a season, or all throughout the year?
      Do you know when the rose was planted?
      What is the true color of the rose? (reds sometimes look orange, etc…)
      Any further info about your roses is also helpful….. I’m looking forward to helping you identify your roses!


  4. Mark Shipp says:

    Dear Chris, I was very pleased to read of your short-term mission efforts. I was a long-term missionary for about 12 years in South America (Colombia and Venezuela) and appreciate your passion. I am NOT a rosarian by any means. I do consider myself a fledgling irisarian and am currently serving as president of the Central Arkansas Iris Society, and we’re all rednecks in these parts too. Sounds like you joined a rose society about the same time I became active in the iris world. I would LOVE to be able to have a couple of nice rose bushes to keep blooming when my irises are finished in May. The beds just need a little color, you know! Since our climates are very similar (from my observation, my parents live in Dothan and I’m thru your area frequently) I thought I would ask you to recommend two or three must-have roses that might do well for me w/o so much black spot. I guess I’m saying, if you were to recommend 2-3 roses that everyone ought to grow, what would they be?. I’m not wild about the knock-outs, but it doesn’t matter to me if you recommend teas, grandifloras, floribundas, etc., just something you think a guy like me outta have good luck with. THANKS.


  5. Mark Shipp says:

    Oh, and BTW, I thought I should include the fact that I have very sandy soil, lots of full sun. My pH runs about 5.8. In the iris beds I try to keep that up to 6.5 or 6.8, but can always avoid liming my rose bushes, were I to get any good ones going! Thanks again.


    • Mark, So glad to hear from you. Glad you found my site. Being from Tennessee I have a big love for the iris also. Its the Tennessee state flower. Seems that everyone in my neighborhood grew them when I was growing up. When we moved to AL, didn’t see as many and thought “what is wrong with this folks?” ha…. As for roses, other than the knockouts there is many other to choose from. Floribundas form a nice shrub and provide many blooms. My personal favorite is “Julia Child” a yellow rose. We had about 5 or 6 good cycles of blooms from two shrubs last season. Others that would do well are “Caldwell Pink”- Polyantha , “Mutabalis” – A China rose that changes colors, “Perle d’Or” is a great apricot colored rose. These are all called “earth kind” roses. They require little care and look great in the garden, thus cutting down on the amount of chemicals that you have to use. They have a great website http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/roses/cultivars/ which might be of interest to you. If I can assist further, I am more than happy to help. — Chris


  6. Mark Shipp says:

    Chris, thank you so much for your recommendations. I have admired the Julia Childs rose in every photo I’ve ever seen of it, but assumed it probably wouldn’t perform well here in oft-baked Arkansas summers. I’ll definitely give it a try now that I have your comments. I’m also gonna be on the hunt for Perle d’Or, and check out Mutabalis. I have been won-over by the philosophies I read on the website for Heirloom Roses in California. Their assertions concerning the need for virus-free, own-root roses sure sounds right to me, so I’ll check them for these varieties. Do you have any thoughts on their “approach”? I’d appreciate knowing them. ALSO, I forgot to ask what your recommendation for a good climbing red rose would be. My ol’ granny always had a climbing blaze. Hers naturally always performed wonderfully, but I’ve never duplicated those results, unfortunately. I got a “Dublin Bay” from Heirloom Roses that is just now beginning to do much. The only thing I’m not impressed with is the low petal count. What are your thoughts? Besides red climbers, have you had luck with New Dawn?


  7. Mark Shipp says:

    P.S. – CAIS, Central Arkansas Iris Society, of which I am current – they couldn’t find anyone else dumb enough to accept the position – president, has a big rhizome sale every year, plus I have about 150 varieties of the latest intros, all awarded, which will need dividing next year. If you’ll send me your shipping address (maybe via email) I’d be tickled to share some of my good performers with you when I dig them in the summer!


  8. Bo Brown says:

    Hi… I am a local Pastor in Helena, and am trying to redo part of my yard and add some color. Any chance you might could call me and maybe meet and give me some ideas, pointers , etc…


  9. elisabelmont says:

    You are adorable! Love your blog!


  10. Bankin’ to Rosin’ and travelin’ in between — nice life you have created there!


  11. Laurie says:

    See my most recent post on atasteofmorning.com Because I enjoy your blog so much, I have just nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and the One Lovely Blog Award.


  12. Imelda says:

    Hello, thank you for visiting my blog. That way, I was introduced to your lovely blog. I love roses but I cannot grow them well, not to mention the fact that I only have a limited space for planting. 😉 Through your blog I will enjoy and smell the roses. 🙂
    And yeah! Thanks for the information about June as the Rose month. I have an excuse to post more rose photos. :-))



  13. Lara says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love flowers too and I must say I’m impressed with your blog. 🙂 By the way, I have just posted a few photos of flowers on my blog ( http://clickgarage.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/name-the-flower/ ) unfortunately I have no idea what their names are, I hope you could help me.


  14. I enjoy reading your posts and looking at your beautiful pictures so I nominated your site for the “Versatile Blogger Award.” Congratulations! If you go to http://versatilebloggeraward.wordpress.com/ or my site (http://gardensunshine.wordpress.com/), you will find the information on the award, how to pass it along and then you can download the badge on your site if you want. Accepting the award is optional. Congratulations!


  15. angelasommers says:

    Thanks for liking my garden blog! I love your blog, such wonderful pictures and advice, and general great reading. Thanks for sharing!


  16. kolonistan says:

    Nice! Love roses but only grow two. Love the smell and the petals in light shades with edges in another.

    /Miss T



  17. tamara says:

    I see we share the same rose-passion,only you are a true professional!Will be checking your posts as this year deer is eating my roses and there is not much to do !
    Love your blog!


  18. Joanna says:

    Hi Chris – thank you for visiting my blog. I mostly grow vegetables in my garden but your beautiful pictures certainly tempt me to see if I can squeeze another rose in somewhere!


  19. Hi Chris, Thanks for stopping by my blog !


  20. fudoll says:

    I’m terrible at growing roses, although our soil composition/moisture levels are changing since we managed to adjust our water table, so their toes might be a bit happier. They’re all a bit lanky and the pests are nearly uncontrollable…maybe I’ll do better in the fall. If ever you find yourself on the Northern Western coast, they have some of the most delightful fragrant rose gardens. I guess ones in Washington, DC aren’t bad either. 😉


    • Yes, roses do hate wet feet! I have heard of the glories of the NW coast and its wonderful gardens. Would love to visit sometime. We have a beautiful Botanical Garden her in Birmingham, BBGargens.org. Have a great week!


  21. Lemonade says:

    I have really enjoyed looking through your blog – your photos are beautiful – you can almost smell them! I’ll be coming back. I’m hoping to get some tips for my roses! What a wonderful blog!


  22. Pingback: A LOT OF THANKS « mywordwall

  23. amy says:

    Hello Chris,
    I live near Leeds, Al. and we have been doing a lot of re-doing of beds and landscaping. I love the Cottage Garden look and I am trying to incorporate some English looking roses into the mix. I have come to love the look of David Austin Roses..just want the very cupped, cabbage look of the rose. Can I grow these in our area very easily. Maybe I can get the look I want without actually having to find a David Austin type. I also am having a hard time finding these in our area. Could you give me any advice as to what might be a few good ones to try for our climate that give me the Old English Cottage Garden look– and where I might go for a good resource of these type roses? Thank you so much and God bless! Amy


    • Amy, thanks for writing. We too love David Austin Roses. Hannas Garden Shop on 280 in Birmingham has a few Austins. ‘Graham Thomas’, ‘Mary Rose’ are two very good ones to start with. They mature over time, so give them a couple of years in the garden to reach their full potential. I will be interviewing Michael Marriott from David Austin Roses this Saturday on Rose Chat Radio – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rosechat/2012/11/03/rose-chat-radio It should be interesting. You can listen from any computer…. Thanks! Keep me posted! I love to hear from local gardeners…..


  24. Chas Spain says:

    Hi Chris – Great to find a rose enthusiast! Hope to drop by and read more about what you’re doing and recommending.


  25. KG Visions says:

    Thank you for scooping me, I think 🙂 Not exactly sure what that is, could you please explain more?


  26. Pingback: The People of Garden2Blog — J Peterson Garden Design

  27. Kimberly says:

    Thank you for visiting Writing Well Design and Photography. I hope you enjoyed living vicariously through my pictures of Longwood Gardens. You may also find some fun at 50figment. Blessings!


  28. tamara says:

    I’ve nominated you for a ‘Blog of the Year’ Award- congratulations!
    You can see your nomination at http://mybotanicalgarden.wordpress.com/ and find ouit about the award at http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/blog-awards-2-/blog-of-the-year-2013-award/


  29. DESTINY says:

    Hey there.. Thanks for stopping by It’s About Destiny :). I will be reading more of your stuff hopefully I can learn how to keep my Garden alive 😀


  30. Pingback: Mr & Mrs Redneck Rosarian » Love It Out

  31. redstuffdan says:

    Hi Chris

    Now l know where to come when l’m feeling a little down and need cheering up – Magnificent photographs of your wonderful blooms – Thank you




  32. It’s wonderful to have such a hobby!!


  33. bethwarstadt says:

    How I wish I had discovered your blog before I developed an allergy to fire ants! After three trips to the emergency room–by ambulance–my family won’t let me garden any more. I do still enjoy a beautiful garden, though, and my post today is about some of the plants I see on my walks through the neighborhood. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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