Sunday, March 20, 2005

Pruning the Roses

What a yucky weekend. Yesterday it was cold with thunderstorms. Today, it is just cold. Still, I ventured outside to do a little yard work. In honor of Spring’s arrival, I pruned the rosebushes.

I’ve never had roses, let alone pruned them, but I was pretty sure they needed pruning. They were so gangly that they had been tied to supports with string, shoelaces, and, no kidding, rope. Last fall, I did enough research on pruning roses to learn that they should be pruned in the spring. Last week, with pruning time imminent, I did a little more research to find out how to prune. Armed with clippers, nippers, and a pruning saw, I went to work.

I started on the rose near the back deck. The plant looked like a prisoner. It was tied to the deck with the aforementioned string, shoelaces, and rope. It threatened anyone going down the steps with a nasty scratch. I pruned into the recommended vase shape. Any canes that extended into areas where people walk where nipped off. The large bush had two very thick, dead canes in the center that I had to use a pruning saw on. The result is posted to the right. The vase shape of the large bush is marred by one branch that droops toward the lawn. It looked so healthy that I couldn’t bear to cut it. I’ll wait until it blooms and then lop it off.

The rose in the front yard is nearly prostrate. It was planted beneath the trees, so it leans towards the lawn for sunlight. As it will never grow upright, I opted for a bent vase shape. I trimmed any canes that would scratch Mike as he mowed the lawn. I cut off frost-damaged tips and freed the plant from its entanglement with a dead annual. It’s a little hard to pick out from the background in the picture (click for a larger version), but with a little imagination you can see the pruned bush.

Roses seem to be one of those plants people are passionate about. While the pruning was fun, and a little dangerous with all of those thorns, I find it hard to get enthusiastic about a prickly, dead-looking bush. I hope I did a good job pruning and will be rewarded with lovely flowers this summer. That, I can get excited about.


Blogger Brit said...

My sister gave me an 'antique rose' bush for my birthday two years ago, we planted last year along the trail....I had read about rose hips before but never knew what they were...this plant has some SERIOUS rose hips. I wonder if I should prune this bush...research required I guess.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Jeremy and/or Sarah said...

Knowing when to prune different trees and shrubs is exceedingly important to their beautification and development. I have often had to consult a reference guide to know how to approach each situation. Professionally, I now do Cape Cod Pruning and understand the each plant requires a bit of education before modifying. Thats my tid bit. Enjoy!

9:00 AM  

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