Beautification Board Winners
210 Timber Ridge Circle
The January Beautification Board winner is the home of Allan and Tavie Brown.
Plantings include Crepe Myrtles, Nandinas, variegated Liriope, and Boxwoods. The manicured lawn and shrubs add softness and color to the home’s stone exterior. “We are so excited to receive the beautification award,” says Tavie Brown. “Allan and I both enjoy working in our yard. To me it’s a way to disconnect for a while. It relieves all the stressors from everyday life. It’s also a full body workout that I don’t consider a workout! With yard work you may not see results for a while but in time the rewards are worth all the hard work.”
304 Cedar Grove Court
The February Beautification Board winner is the home of Theresa and Harry Niendorf.
Plantings include Maple trees, Limelight Hydrangeas, Invincible Hydrangeas, Camellias, Red Roses, Yellow Drift Roses, Viburnums, Loropetalum’s Purple Diamond, Fatsia Japonica, Salvia, Climbing Hydrangea, Square Bud Primroses, Big Blue Liriope, Abelias, Distyliums, Tea Olive, Lavender, Japanese Plum Yews, Coral Bark Japanese Maple, Asiatic Jasmine, Tamukeyama Japanese Maple, and Agapanthus. “Harry and I love it here,” says Theresa Niendorf. “Harry doesn’t know a rose from a daisy but he put in over 800 bricks around the beds! Gardening is my hobby and I love being in the yard.”
Commercial Winner—January, February, March
The Commercial Winner for January–March is Brooklere Health Mart Pharmacy. Brooklere is the community’s pharmacy, and they take great pride in their surroundings. The building’s parking lot is bordered by manicured boxwood shrubs and the grass is neatly trimmed and the building well maintained. Owner Johnny Brooklere said, “We are honored to be recognized by the Beautification Board. Being of service to our customers and our community is very important to us.”
An Interview with Chris VanCleave
A Rose is a Rose is a Rose
Interview by Lee Hurley
On Saturday Feb 10th, Chris VanCleave, AKA The Redneck Rosarian, will give a talk at the Albert L Scott Library from 1–3 p.m. in the Nan Abbott Room. Registration is not mandatory but highly recommended. Register here: cityofalabaster.libcal.com/
Chris has a passion for and keen knowledge of roses, and he shares this with a mixture of faith, life experience, and sense of humor.
Alabaster Connection: Can you share a little bit of what to expect when you come to Alabaster in February?
Chris VanCleave: You’ll discover practical hands-on growing tips to help you have roses that you can be proud of.
AC: Do you have a philosophy about growing roses?
CV: Roses are our national flower and a part of the major events in our lives. Growing them should be as easy as any other shrub in our garden. Besides, it’s an opportunity to create a little beauty in the world.
AC: Why did roses strike your fancy over other flowers?
CV: It’s a generational thing in my family. I can trace it back to pre-civil war era. I grew up in a family of gardeners. My mom taught me a lot about roses.
AC: How does someone keep learning more about roses?
CV: Education is key. The American Rose Society has a network of local rose groups around the county all of which desire to help residents grow great roses as well as a “Consulting Rosarian” program, which requires an exam and continuing education credits. Try Rose.org for more info.
AC: Do you have different tips for someone in Alabama than you might for someone in California?
CV: Climate plays a big role in rose care. For instance, we have very mild winters in central Alabama, so I prune in late February/early March to prepare for the spring season.
AC: What tools would you recommend a rose gardener own?
CV: A pair of bypass pruners, a small lopper, and a pair of gauntlet gloves.
AC: You’ve said every rose has a story? Could you offer up an example?
CV: The Peggy Martin Rose. Peggy lost her family during hurricane Katrina, and after a 20-foot wall of salt water receded, she returned to her families homestead to find the only living thing was a single old rose her mother had grown. From that one glimmer of life, she found hope and a reason to begin again. Today the Peggy Martin rose stands as a beacon of hope for gardeners around the world.
AC: What does your rose garden look like? How many different type roses?
CV: My current garden is in its third growing season. It currently consists of approximately 75 shrubs with about 35 varieties represented like Climbers, Hybrid Teas, English Roses, and Shrub Roses.
AC: Do you listen to music while you work in the garden? Solve problems?
CV: The garden is such good therapy! There is something about digging in the soil and tending plants that has a therapeutic effect. The annual ritual of pruning is a demonstration exercise of life renewing itself by cutting away the dead to encourage new growth. That’s something that can not only be applied in the garden but in life!
AC: Do you have a favorite Quote about roses?
CV: “He that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” – Anne Brontë, The Narrow Way
2023 Tour of Lights
The Alabaster Beautification Board would like to express our sincere gratitude to the following businesses for your ongoing support in making the 7th annual Tour of Lights a success:
- Alabaster Arts Council
- Alabaster Car Wash & Wax Center
- Alabaster Florist & Gifts
- America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses
- Amstar Cinemas
- Consigned Design
- Copper Train
- Crunch Fitness
- Diamond Nails
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Frou Frou Boutique
- G & G Loft Boutique
- Honey Baked Ham
- Joe’s Italian Pizza, Pasta, & Café
- J R Nails
- Minuteman Press of Central Alabama
- Subway of Alabaster
- The Pit Stop Barbershop