Spring is soooo reluctant in coming...but come it will! Yesterday really wasn't too bad outdoors in spite of the cloudy, cool day. I gathered my tools - a pair of heavy duty gloves and three different trimmers - andstarted trimming the roses by the 'welcome to the garden' arbor. One can expect to get scratched, pricked and ripped clothes when working with roses! But they sure are beauties! These roses, called Dizzing Heights, are a shrub rose, which grow tall but are not a climber. I really like these as they bloom all summer long.
Here is the before and after trim and in their summer bloom:
I never cease to be amazed how much roses grow in a season! This major cutting back is considered the 'kinder cut,' because roses do bloom larger and better by giving them a trim like this. Now is the time to
re-shape and cut away anything you didn't like from the year before. Last summer, they grew up against the arbor and much as I wanted to keep that healthy growth, I cut that back.
Before beginning, loosen any ties from last years growth.
I cut away where the x's are
This is the other side of the arbor. I cut the larger stem on a slant where the saved stem started growing.The cut stem is the new growth from last summer that was pressed up against the arbor and it had to go; it also took away a lot of the branches that were growing on the wrong side of the arbor. It's a good idea to cut at least one old wood branch on every rose bush, shrub or climber per year.
Any stem/branch that is black must be cut away. Because it was going into the mother stem, I simply cut it all the way to the bottom.
When this happens, I cut away everything except the strongest, straightest growing stem.
Again, I cut where the x's are, leaving the strongest branch there.
I fasten them with green velcro that is purchased at any store that carries plant supplies...it's great stuff and can be re-used until it breaks apart. Be sure to clean up all the little thorny twigs because it's no fun to step on them with bare feet! I either put 'em in a pile or keep a bucket nearby for the trash pile.