I’m Doing a Happy Dance

'Zephirine Droughin' clambering up the garden's entry arbor.
'Zephirine Drouhin' after her hard pruning gently climbs the back garden's gated entry.

What better mid-winter garden news could we Oklahomans get?  Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium is coming to speak in Tulsa and Oklahoma City as part of the Oklahoma Horticulture Society’s Annual Winter Lecture Series.  Every year, in February, the OHS, along with their partners in Tulsa, bring a big name garden personality to Oklahoma.  I just want to say thank you.

Again, thank you.

The rest of the world has its Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie obsession.  We, gardeners, have our own celebrities.  In the world of heirloom roses, Mike Shoup would probably rather be known as an expert.   He’s rustled roses with the best of our Texas friends, and he and the other rosarians helped save many of the old garden roses which survived in the harsh climates of Texas and Oklahoma, but were in danger from development and suburban sprawl.

'Cl. Old Blush' with 'New Dawn' in background.
'Cl. Old Blush' with 'New Dawn' in background.

When I moved to rural Oklahoma twenty years ago, for about three seasons I tried to grow the Hybrid Teas I saw blooming in catalogs.  I, then, bought the English roses which were just making their way across the ocean.  Without a lot of protection (like that on the East side of my house), the poor roses succumbed to cold, winter winds and harsh summer sun.

I discovered old garden roses, heirlooms and antiques through Mike Shoup and Mark Chamblee of Chamblee’s Rose Nursery.

Rosa 'Mme. Isaac Pereire' with
'Mme. Isaac Pereire' with 'Sarah Bernhardt' peony in background

I know I’m gushing, but it’s due, in part, to the rose rustlers and others that I have roses which thrive in my Zone 7(a) garden.  It’s harsh out here.  We have cold, cold winters, with no snow cover, and fluctuating temperatures.  In winter, it can be 75 degrees one day and 10 degrees the next.  Then, in summer, we get drought and heat.  I grow many, tough roses which are antiques, and I would never have discovered them without Shoup and Chamblee and all of their staff.

I read Shoup’s book, Roses in the Southern Garden, from cover to cover. In fact, my copy is so used, it could never be resold. In the winter, I often take it down from the shelf, along with Chamblee’s catalog, and my copy of The Rose Bible, by Rayford Clayton Reddell, to dream about next season’s roses.

You can get further information about the dates, times and places in my post at Oklahoma Gardening Examiner.  If you’re interested, please head on over.

In the meantime, I think I found a couple of other rose books on Amazon which I haven’t read.  I’ll be at the kitchen computer ordering at least one of them this afternoon. In Search of Lost Roses, by Thomas Christopher anyone?


  1. LostRoses says:

    Aha, Dee, you’ve discovered the inspiration for my blog name! With thanks to Thomas Christopher.

    So that’s the problem with my Zephirine Drouhin – not enough fertilizer? I’ll try to rectify that this year. Love your blog.

    LostRoses´s last blog post..Belated elf

    I don’t know if that’s the problem for sure, but my ZD sure likes the fertilizer. I know that much. She is a hungry Miss.~~Dee

  2. Jean says:

    Beautiful photos Dee. You’re lucky to get Mike Shoup there. And we’re all lucky that he’s done the things he’s done to bring us those old yet beautiful reliables. I also have his book and used it a number of times. It’s a great resource for picking a rose for those tricky places.

    Jean´s last blog post..It’s Finally Done, For Now

  3. Aiyana says:

    Maybe Shoup can sign your copy of his book!
    Most of the roses recommended for our climate are hybrid teas, but lately I’ve read of a few heirlooms that may do ok here. I recently picked up an old book at Goodwill called “The World’s Best Roses”, and it’s been fun to look at the various types–some I’d never heard of.

    Aiyana´s last blog post..Bloomin’ Tuesday ~ Aloe Season

    Aiyana, I may buy another copy because mine is so “loved.” If I can help you with any rose ideas, email me, O.K.?~~Dee

  4. CurtissAnn says:

    Honey, I’m fairly certain it was you and Deb who all those years ago introduced me to the Antique Rose Emporium, and then Jim and I went there on one our anniversaries and had a ball. I’ve never looked at modern roses again.

    CurtissAnn´s last blog post..My Point…and I do have one

    Hey Rosebud, I do have a couple of Hybrid Teas and other modern roses, but I’ve put most of my “fortune” into the oldies but goldies.~~Dee

  5. Brenda Kula says:

    Well, heck, here I’ve lived in Tyler for almost four years now. And I can’t recall ever going there. Have to rectify that!

    Brenda Kula´s last blog post..Our Friend’s Loss

    Yes, Brenda, run to Chamblee’s. Mark Chamblee and his staff are great at helping you to choose disease resistant varieties.~~Dee

  6. Marnie says:

    Yes indeed, let us know how the seminar goes. The old heirloom roses are polar opposites from the more modern hybrid teas. If more people would try them first, they would be a lot happier with their roses.

    Marnie, I will definitely take photos and get something posted. Oklahoma has some great lectures.~~Dee

  7. Dave says:

    Sounds neat! It’s great to hear an expert in the field, especially when its a subject that you enjoy. Thanks for the tip earlier today!

    Dave´s last blog post..For Whom the Bell Tolls

    Oh, you’re welcome, Dave, and you are so right about listening to experts.~~Dee

  8. Lori says:

    Oooh, sounds like fun! Nearly all of my roses are from the Antique Rose Emporium, and I’m bummed that I’ve never gotten to visit during peak bloom times. Someday!

    By the way, your Zephirine Drouhin leaves me green with envy. I’ve had mine 2 years and have gotten a grand total of three flowers from it. Is yours in full sun? It must smell amazing with all of those flowers.

    Lori´s last blog post..November Bloom Day

    Lori, my ZD, as it is affectionally known her, is in full, all day sun. ZD loves its fertlizer, probably better than any other rose I have.~~Dee

  9. Sherry says:

    Dear Dee,
    In the spring of 2007 I lost about 20 rose bushes. They were heirlooms and antiques. Some had been in my gardens for 20 years. I was heart broken.
    Now I am looking at your roses and wishing I had begun to replace them…I think maybe I will. At least I will replace a few this coming season. Thank you for the inspiration. I have harsh winters and summers too.
    I just will not give up!

    Sherry´s last blog post..Fiber Glow

    Oh, Sherry, that is so sad. My heart wrenched in pain over your loss of twenty? That’s horrid. I hope you can get a few. Some heirlooms do better in extreme weather than others.~~Dee

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    I’ve never heard Mike either, but I’d like to. Enjoy! (Gorgeous roses pictures too.)

    Pam/Digging´s last blog post..Partners in the garden

    I can’t wait. I’ll report back.~~Dee

  11. Dee, you have got to be so proud of all those beautiful roses. I bet the fragrance at your place is divine! 🙂

    Linda at Meadowview Thymes´s last blog post..They are starting to bloom!!

    Hi Linda, thanks. I am often frustrated by all those roses, but, in spring, when they bloom, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂 ~~Dee

  12. Sherri says:

    Dee, lucky you!! I have bought many roses from Antique Rose Emporium and they are all doing great!! Enjoy!!

    Sherri´s last blog post..Lemonade Award

    It has great roses, as does Chamblee’s.~~Dee

  13. Gail says:


    Gushing is fine! Gushing is good!
    There are a few folks that I would wait in line to hear speak. Thank you for stating so well, the zone 7 gardening challenges! We have similar weather extremes here in Nashville and probably end up losing more plants to exposure then zone 5 gardens lose to snow!


    Gail´s last blog post..Have I Got A Plant For You!

    Hi Gail, I promise to return with a full report on what he said. Yes, we do lose a lot of plants, don’t we?~~Dee

  14. Great post and fab photos, Dee. You almost make me want to try my hand at growing roses. *Almost.*

    Andrea at Heavy Petal´s last blog post..New Year’s resolutions 2009

    Hi Andrea, maybe I’ll convince you next spring. 🙂 ~~Dee

  15. Frances says:

    Oh Dee, how wonderful, so report back after you have heard him. We were about an hour away from the Rose Emporium in Brenham and I have been there many times when we lived in The Woodlands. I even brought several of the roses from there up to TN and ordered even more. The display gardens take your breath away, if you ever get down to that area it is a must see!


    Frances´s last blog post..About Those Azaleas-My Signature Plants

    Hi Frances, I will so report back. I’ve been to both Brenham and the other ARE in San Antonio. They were distinctly different due to the different climes, but I loved them both.~~Dee

  16. That’s exciting. We expect a full report!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens´s last blog post..Using Temporary Botanical Names

    I wish you could leave your snowy state and come with me.~~Dee

  17. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Isn’t it fun to have someone so exicting to look forward to seeing? Just seeing your roses makes me wish I had some. WOW

    Thanks, Lisa.~~Dee

  18. Layanee says:

    I don’t know Mike but I know just what you mean about the stars in the gardening industry! Have a great time and report back!

    Layanee´s last blog post..Now Open at Our New Location

    Thanks, Layanee, I will.~~Dee

  19. Zach says:

    I’ll to try to make it to see him speak. Thanks for letting me know!

    Zach, if you attend, come up and meet me, O.K.?~~Dee

  20. What a wonderful opportunity! It’s great to hear an expert speak about his or her passion.

    Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening´s last blog post..Write your garden’s mission statement

    Yes, Kathy, I always learn so much.~~Dee

  21. I’d be doing the happy dance too! What a coup for your group. It’s great to listen to experts and to drool over the gorgeous images they usually bring along.

    Mr. McGregor’s Daughter´s last blog post..The Great Earwig Invasion of Aught Eight*

    They always bring great speakers. Cole Burrell came last year.~~Dee

  22. Racquel says:

    You have some wonderful examples of beautiful old specimens in your garden Dee. You have to give it up to a rose that can survive your harsh summers! I’m glad we have people out there trying to preserve this piece of history for us.

    Racquel´s last blog post..Bargain Garden Art

    Thanks, Racquel. Me too.~~Dee

  23. Boy, our good fortune is a winter’s peek at your gorgeous summer roses, Dee! Good for you (and us) that you persevered!

    Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com´s last blog post..Book Review: Signs of Life

    Thanks, Kathryn.~~Dee

  24. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Dee, here’s to learning about and growing more old roses!

    Cindy, MCOK´s last blog post..Different Women in The City Different

    Wish you could come too.~~Dee

  25. Anonymous says:

    oooo ahhhh Mike is the man! AND the rose rustlers! Just sounds like fun doesn’t it? I’m glad he is able to come to you:)


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