Like so many of you, I work–a lot.  Between my design clients, traveling to speaking engagements, working on magazine articles, building a stock photography library and getting ready to launch a garden tour business–not to mention a few projects that I can’t talk about quite yet–my days are fairly full.  To that end, sometimes it’s nice to be able to mix some pleasure with my work.  Not that I don’t find pleasure in all of my work.  If I didn’t, I’d change careers.  But really, sometimes it’s fun just to have fun and Friday was one of those days!

I’ve mentioned one of my favorite projects, the Nashville Music Garden, on the blog before.  This garden is a collection of all of the roses that have ever been named for one of Tennessee’s great music artists, groups or songs and, as far as we know, it’s the only garden like it in the world based solely on its plants having this kind of connection to the music world.  There are roses named for Barbara Mandrell, Lynn Anderson, Dolly Parton, Pam Tillis and many other artists.  There are also roses named for songs, like Rocky Top, Amazing Grace and Blue Suede Shoes.  We even have a rose, ‘Crescendo’, that was named by Jackson & Perkins to honor our Nashville Symphony–the first time ever a rose was named to honor a group like this–as well as The Grand Ole Opry, The Nashville Ballet and others!

On Friday, we added a new name to our list of honorees at the Nashville Music Garden–Manuel Cuevas.  Now, some of you may not know who Manuel is, but if you’ve ever seen a photo of someone like Marty Stuart or Dolly Parton, Dwight Yoakam or Little Jimmy Dickens–or any number of other artists–wearing one of those flashy rhinestoned and embroidered jackets, suits or shirts, then you know Manuel.  In fact, Manuel dressed “The King” himself and is the man who made Johnny Cash “The Man in Black”.  So it was a true honor and privilege for this little ol’ country boy from Kansas to be a part of the dedication of the new ‘Manuel Cuevas’ rose on Friday.  Manuel even loaned me a jacket to wear for the event and I couldn’t have been prouder to wear it!

Pictured with me are Manuel (holding a picture of the rose that was named for him), legendary singer Lynn Anderson (she never promised you a rose garden!), Pat Bullard (my amazing friend who founded the Nashville Music Garden) and rose hybridizer Whit Wells of Wells Mid-South Roses (the creator of the ‘Manuel Cuevas’ rose and so many others).

By the way, the real rose that you see Lynn wearing on her shirt is the new ‘Manuel Cuevas’ rose–and the roses you see embroidered on Lynn’s beautiful shirt are Manuel’s own artistic interpretation of his new rose.  This shirt will be donated to the Nashville Music Garden for a special, online fundraising auction, details of which I’ll announce here at a later date.

If you are interested in growing the ‘Manuel Cuevas’ rose or others that are part of the Nashville Music Garden collection, see Whit’s website at  Also, be sure to visit the Nashville Music Garden’s own website at and become their friend by “Liking” Nashville Music Garden on Facebook.  And if you’re ever in Nashville, be sure to stop by the garden which is located directly across the street from the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Symphony in Hall of Fame Park between 4th and 5th Avenue, just south of Broadway.  You never know who you might catch a glimpse of!