A Rosarian in our midst

cluster of yellow roses Rose Story Farm slimpaley


So, just like that.  Summer 2014 is officially over. Done. Toast.

more yellow roses, Carpinteria, slimpaleyRose Story Farm

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 12.54.06 PMRoses growing way above my head in our parched garden last week.

And yet…to look out at the roses, one would never suspect a change is afoot. Even with the drought clobbering us here in Southern California, the mighty rose continues to blossom, if not thrive.

My good friend Dani Hahn, an official “Rosarian” (2014) and owner of Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria, California says “It’s a little known fact- stress a rose (i.e. no water) and they’ll show off”

Summer Roses Slimpaley.com Carpinteria, CAShadow Dancer, Rose Story Farm

To which I say, isn’t it a shame we humans don’t fair so well under stress?!

But let’s not talk anymore of the drought (UGH-speaking of toast)  let’s continue to discuss roses instead.

I took the opportunity to tour Dani and Bill Hahn’s spectacular rose farm once again this summer and after sharing a glass or two of rose’ beneath the bowers, I asked Dani if she wouldn’t mind answering 3 little questions for Slim Paley readers.


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Dani at her farm

So, here goes (My 2nd interview 🙂 )

SP: Cheers Dani! We first met as really young moms … oh so many years ago. Our older sons were in pre-school and you owned a children’s wear shop in Montecito, remember?! But for many years now you and your husband Bill have been the proprietors of “Rose Story Farm”.  Let’s see…living on an organic rose farm in the foothills of Carpinteria,  surrounded by gorgeousitude, hosting workshops, tours and weddings, delivering and sharing beauty all over the country- you are really living a fantasy life Lady! I guess my first question would be; “Have roses changed your life, or at least changed it in a way you would have predicted?”

DH: Aside from adding incredible beauty to our daily life, they’ve helped expand my imagination. I had imagined a life surrounded by family, friends, flowers, good food and lots of adventures! Roses have inspired me to live this imagined life. Each day is filled with a new miracle. I am now blessed with a rosey business that combines family, friends & adventures. Our focus at Rose Story Farm is to share our enjoyment of the rose and this lifestyle in as many ways possible! I’m grateful to have the farm as a vehicle to do so.


Late afternoon, Rose Story Farm  slimpaley.com

Rolling hills of roses as far as the eye can see at Rose Story Farm

Sunday afternoon Rose Story Farm slimpaley.comRose Story Farm

SP: I’m super grateful that you do too-I feel incredibly fortunate to live so close by. What do you find most inspiring about growing roses?

DH: ‘Growing roses’ is more than just about ‘growing roses’.  As a rose blooms, it brings with it a memory, a thought, or a reminder that life is fragile and fleeting. Fragrance triggers memories like no other sense. Once a fragrance is imprinted, it is never forgotten. As we move through life, these memories become inspirations moving us toward our dreams and fantasies. With gardening we get a sense of renewal, of reward, and anticipation. With rose gardening, we get all of this AND a sense of history, of passion, of eternal beauty.

890A2603 amazing rose slimpaleyRose Story Farm


890A2551Rose Story Farm on slimpaley
Rose Story Farm fence roses slimpaley


SP: If someone writes a book about famous Rosarians one day (and they should)  you, of course, would be included. What would be your ‘Rose message’ you’d like to share with the world?

DH: Everyone can and should be able to grow roses simply. Rephrased, everyone should be able to simply enjoy their roses! After all, roses have brought joy to humanity for over 25 centuries.


Candy Cane rose Rose Story Farm Carpinteria slimpaleyScentimental

DH: Attempting a new approach in the garden, or changing an established routine can be challenging, especially with a flower as seemingly complicated as the rose. However, experimentation can lead in unexpected directions! As in most endeavors, there will be a fair amount of disastrous results. I’ve found, however, that these trials generally lead to spectacular success! We are constantly planting new varietals and trying new approaches.

SP: I like to hear that. It makes me feel much better about one or two failures (I mean vaguely unsuccessful trials) I’ve tried in my garden over the years.

Koko Loco rose slimpaley Rose Story FarmCurrently one of Dani’s new favourites, the “Koko Loko”

Lastly, some parting words from Dani;

I hope each of you embark upon this journey! Experiment, have fun, and always look for humor in the garden. This flower, the rose, can bring so much into your life: friends, family, and shared experiences. Roses continue to inspire me each and every day.

“Earth laughs in flowers” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cat at Rose Story Farm slimpaley “Social Climber”

‘Roses… they bring sweetness and magic into our lives. Exquisite in shape, with a never-ending variety of tints and subtle fragrance, they make us forget for a little while all our cares and woes. One single rose can bring us happiness if we know how to appreciate it fully. So why should we not be enraptured by the beauty of these flowers, breathe their delicate perfume, and surrender to their charms.’  Eric Bois


fountain Rose Story Farm slimpaley

Busy bees gather at a fountain with Dani in the distance


079Dani Hahn

It was her destiny!

For more information about ROSE STORY FARM




Two photos of Dani, via Dani Hahn



  1. I loved this post and all the wisdom Dani shares. Oh, how I would love to have so many roses in my garden!
    Thank you Slim and Dani!

  2. Lovely post! I feel inspired to plant more roses.

    Also, I am currently reading an interesting new book called Chasing The Rose – it is about trying to find the origin of a nameless rose in the Venetian countryside – part mystery and part horticultural lesson. You might like!

  3. Your post today is the first I have read in weeks, and I guess it was suppose to be…my Mom’s favorite was roses…she died in my arms last Monday and I have not had the energy to look at the computer until today and up pops this beautiful message sent especially for me today….God Bless

  4. Her destiny indeed – love that image! I’m feeling like my little “rose garden” (15 plants) is looking sad. I was out pruning today hoping to work a little magic. Wonder if Dani needs a trip to NC?

  5. As a life long lover of roses, totally magnificent! I miss my Michigan rose garden, living in southwest Florida now, I’m so envious.

  6. Just beautiful! I hope to get down there one day to see her lovely farm. I agree the rose is truly amazing and one of the loveliest things on this planet!! Great photos. I can almost smell this post!!

  7. Thank God the rediculous heat is gone and I hope MJH designs is right and rain is on it’s way here….my roses grew wonderful thorns without any blossoms ever. Really wish I were more of a success there. Only Impatients and lemons grow well for me….hum… Must say something about me

    • lol. The thing with the thorns though is interesting-my roses have also been super thorny…er, thornier this year- must have something to do with being watered less.

  8. One can only blossom when surrounded by roses. I’m looking at the most stunning arrangement in my home as I type. Every time I catch a glimpse, I smile. Thank goodness for Dani and other rosarians who nurture and tend to them for those of us not blessed with a green thumb to share and enjoy. xo

  9. Love planted a rose, and the world turned sweet.

    Katharine Lee Bates

    Ah the beloved Rose, one of the greatest gifts of beauty from nature.
    I have had many different sizes, shapes and colors. I especially love the Fragrant David Austen Roses. This rose farm is very special, and very beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Great way to start the day.

  10. Slim, thanks to your recommendation, we visited Rose Story Farm last October. It was as wonderful as you portrayed! We celebrated our Mom’s birthday there with lunch in their ah-mazing garden. The sights {and scents!} from the visit ~ unforgettable. The farm is so interesting and of course, lovely. Dani’s family was so kind ~ they even had a rose-shaped birthday cake for the birthday celebration. Such awonderful place ~ thank you for highlighting it through the years!

  11. Love every single post you produce Slim! Thoughts come racing back to me of past rose bushes I have nurtured. Camelot was a favorite…..but, oh my, they all are. After a firestorm in our area the rosebushes went away. Now the deer have invaded, so I must plant my plants on the elevated deck. One rose bush survives, a Chicago Peace that blooms one flower a year surrounded by wire frame in the garden. Thanks for reminding me of bliss.

  12. Thank you Slim Paley! What a wonderful story about Dani and her journey to Rose Storey Farm! I love roses, but I have never been able to dedicate the time to grow them. Thank you Dani Hahn for following your passion, and taking the time to “smell the roses.”

  13. “Fragrance triggers memory…” This post had me following the pull thread of the rose in my life. First rose memory: my Mother’s Peace Rose. Last greatest rose memory: The Marion Woodman Rose Garden at Pacifica Graduate Institute (formerly La Casa De Maria SB. Marion is, and remains my greatest teacher and mentor. The Rose, synonymous with The Archetypal Feminine. I was very sad to take out my rose garden this year due to weather and deer problems. I think Dani has inspired me to try again. I hope to visit Rose Story Farm someday. Thank you and autumnal greetings, SP.

  14. Beautiful post Slim! You inspired me to go to Rose Story Farm last month where I bought some of your favourites.. My home is so much more beautiful for it.

    • Yes, open but you need to call first to arrange your visit.
      and believe me-I’ll be first in line to sign up for the scratch n sniff feature for my blog!

  15. My daughter and I had the extraordinary good fortune to stay at the Farm with Dani and her family while my daughter, Alexa, was studying at Brooks many years ago. The fragrance of the roses mixed with lavender and rosemary will never be forgotten. Dani and Bill have created an enchanting landscape filled with beauty, family and grace.

  16. Who doesn’t love roses? I love this quote by Daphne du Maurier from “Rebecca”

    “There was something rather blousy about roses in full bloom, something shallow and raucous, like women with untidy hair”

    Thanks for the post.

  17. So pretty! We’ve just bought our first house and I’m thrilled to finally have my own garden. My dog is actually the biggest fan of flowers out of all of us – he stops to smell every one, and never digs them up.

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