Recycling the Love
As a former wedding and event designer, I witnessed firsthand the hundreds of pounds of garbage celebrations typically create – including floral centerpieces. Watching artfully styled arrangements overflowing with roses, peonies and orchids get thrown out every week had me asking "Why waste beautiful flowers after the party is over?"
When I recognized an opportunity to harness the love and beauty of a celebration’s flowers, I launched Repeat Roses.
Weddings and events typically produce 600 pounds of garbage. The Repeat Roses mission is to turn some of this waste into positive energy by repurposing what would otherwise end up in the trash into multiple new arrangements of love.
I firmly believe in the positive effect flowers have on emotional health and am dedicated to providing a positive boost to patients in cancer treatment centers, hospitals and hospice care facilities across the country.
Imagine the sheer joy a perfect single rose brings a gardener. We multiply that joy by delivering repurposed arrangements of roses to hundreds of people every weekend. Delivering such a thoughtful surprise to someone who could use an emotional boost is not only the right thing to do, it hopefully inspires newlyweds to set a precedent for acts of kindness in their marriage. Our motto: “More joy and love, less waste!
In addition to creating a pay-it-forward moment, the zero-waste service also allows clients to incorporate an eco-friendly element into their event plan. When Repeat Roses makes a delivery, we recover the previous week’s delivery of flowers. The expired organic waste is then composted to help create supercharged soil amendments for flower growers, farmers and landscapers' use.
By recycling the love, we believe Repeat Roses has created a beautiful circle that gives back to both the community and the environment.
Mentoring: Be the Root to Help Others Grow
Upon relocating to a new city in 2006, I am so grateful to have found the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society as a resource to learn about the wonderful world of roses. They welcomed me with open arms, making it easy to establish relationships with mentors who have become lifelong friends. In particular I appreciate how our president, Master Rosarian Kitty Belendez, is always available to answer my questions and offer guidance and tips about the best ways to care for my rose family.
In this technology driven world it is important to me that those new to our societies also find comradery at their local rose societies especially those who are younger or those new to growing roses. I have learned from my mentors and try to “pay it forward” when the opportunities come and I am so excited to pass along the love of gardening to my precious granddaughter Ellie. I hope that one day she too will cherish the memories of our times together in the garden, sharing the wonders of nature and smelling the beautiful fragrant roses.
My Romance with Roses
Yes, I fell in love with roses, but surely roses must have fallen in love with me first! I believe they had a plan to woo me. Sparks seemed to fly when I would see certain roses. How could I order 30 bare-root roses, sight unseen, simply by catalogue descriptions? All stages of rose growth held magic for me. And why did I want to share almost every little thing that intrigued me about roses? Matters of the heart are like that aren’t they?
My romance with roses first found expression in the creation of my garden, and of course one rose bush led to another, and another. Our suburban corner plot is now host to more than three hundred roses; many of them reblooming heritage roses. Climbers, ramblers and large shrub roses form the beautiful, show stopping bones of the garden. Teas, Minis, Floribundas, Austins, and Hybrid Teas come and go as the spirit moves me. In the mix are many flowering shrubs like abutilon, weigela, and hydrangea. Perennials, herbaceous plants, and annuals like zinnias and sweet peas are abundant and round out the mix.
In my work of sharing rose information, I like to show a rose in the garden and in the vase. I'm always happy to make just a simple bouquet with one kind of rose, and then display and photograph it so the rose reaches out its heart to you, as Perle d'Or seems to in these images.
Years ago, I saw a very large bouquet in an art exhibit that had a wide variety of components – many roses, flowering branches, vines, even a few tomatoes. It was so gorgeous and it inspired me to grow similar things so I too could create amazing flower arrangements.
I love going into the garden to see and play with a day's offerings. Freely filling a flower or laundry bucket with whatever captures my eye or color theme can lead to a joyous workout. I'm usually in experimental mode, because I want to always try new ways of showing and photographing roses.
My romance with roses is a life privilege I am deeply grateful for. Last April, my rose adventures took a delightful new turn—the creation of a magazine. For more on Carolyn’s new adventure, read on at her blog Rose Notes
‘Louie Philippe,’ classified as a china, has been around for centuries. Modeste Guérin released this romantic rose before 1834. The parentage is not known. This hardy disease resistant rose bush reliably blooms throughout the season. Crimson on the outer petals with cherry red on the inside petals. Bloom size averages two inches, however in Florida the blooms have reached 3" across. Perfume or fragrance as you may prefer to address the nose of the flower yields a rich fruitiness with a peppery tone. Even as the petals drop the essence of the fragrance lingers, great for bath petals or potpourri.
Growing to great heights when left to its own devices, ‘Louis Philippe’ is covered in flowers from one flush to the next. Share the blossoms with a friend and the aromatics will instantly transport them to a moment in their past. ‘Louis Philippe,’ a romantic nod from the history of roses, will grow well from zone 7b-10a.
Social Media Minute Happy Anniversary Rose Chat Podcast
In February the Rose Chat Podcast will start it’s 4th season. And, yes, Chris VanCleave and I met on Social Media—Twitter to be exact. We were both already involved in blogging about roses through our personal websites and had a commitment to share our rose growing experiences via social media. On Twitter we quickly found ourselves fielding more and more questions about roses and saw a need for accurate and positive rose information.
What started on Twitter quickly grew to include Facebook and moved onto Podcasting. A podcast is defined as a pre-recorded radio style program that is made available for listening on the internet. Podcasts can also be accessed via your smart phone or other listening devices such as an iPod.
Though we have 150+ podcasts with nearly 500,000 program downloads under our belt, our commitment has not waned. If fact, we are even more committed. Through social media, Chris and I have had the opportunity to share our love of roses, have been able to give voice to many others who have a rose story to share, as well as connect rose friends to each other.
If you are new to the Rose Chat podcast, click here
, choose a podcast and start listening. All you need is the iTunes or Sticker App on your smart phone or internet access from your laptop or desktop computer. Your choices are many… Pat Shanley, Bob Martin, Michael Marriott, Peggy Martin, Paul Zimmerman, Baldo Villegas and many, many more.
Maybe it’s time for you to get busy and write your rose story. We just might be calling you for a "chat."
It's time to go rose shopping!
Remember to take advantage of these ARS Member discounts
- Angel Gardens, 10% discount, www.angelgardens.com
- Chamblee’s Rose Nursery, 10% discount, www.chambleeroses.com
- David Austin Roses, 10% discount, www.davidaustinroses.com
- Fish in the Garden, 15% discount, www.fishinthegarden.net
- Heirloom Roses, 10% off your $50 purchase, use code ARS2016, www.heirloomroses.com/
- NEW! Jackson and Perkins, 15% discount, use code MEMBER, www.jacksonandperkins.com
- KeyPlex, $2.00 off discount, $2.00 donation to ARS, www.keyplexdirect.com
- Mitchell Nelson’s Fine Art, 20% discount, www.mitchellnelsonsfineart.com
- Pine Straw Direct, 5% discount, www.pinestrawdirect.com
- Rogue Valley Roses, 10% discount, www.roguevalleyroses.com
- Tijeras Rain Barrels, 30% discount, www.tijerasrainbarrels.com
- Walnut Hill Farm, 10% discount on potted roses, no mail order. Call 1-269-427-4010, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Witherspoon Rose Culture, FREE Rosebush with a new full membership, 10% discount, www.witherspoonrose.com
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