I have to say winter is not one of my favourite times
in the garden. It is especially depressing when just
about everything in the garden stops growing,
except the weeds of course. Ironically, they seem to
flourish in winter.
June is a relatively quiet time in the garden, but it is a good time to
take the pruning shears out of the shed.
June is a good time to prune your roses. The major reasons
for pruning any rose is to create shape, generate new growth and to remove
dead or unwanted woods.
New blossoms come from new wood in most cases — certainly the best and
longest lasting blossoms come from your new growth. Pruning at this time also
helps by allowing more light and air in and around your rose bush, which stops
it being hit by mildew or other fungal diseases.
Before pruning you will need to identify the old wood from the new wood. New
wood has brown thorns and smooth green bark. Old wood has grey thorns with
rough bark. Also it is important that you use a sharp pair of pruning shears
or secateurs, so that the cut is clean, rather than squashing the rose cane
with a blunt blade. This encourages dry rot to get in to the bush.
The centre of the rose needs to be cleaned out, so you will need to assess the
rose bush and select four or five main canes to form an open V shape. If there
are not enough new canes you can combine with one or two old canes. Cut all
dead wood back to the stem and all small twiggy growth should be removed
particularly in the centre of the bush. Cuts should be made about 3-4
centimetres above an outward facing bud.
Weeping roses are often used as a feature in gardens but can a little more
difficult to prune. Some are grown over an archway or trellis frame. These
roses are usually grafted onto a long stem, sometimes up to two metres high,
to assist in the weeping effect of the rose. When pruning you should cut away
any spindly or dead growth, and any shoots that are growing upwards. Leave
some canes hanging down, and trim lightly trying to trim back to a bud facing
down to encourage growth downward. Climbing roses can present a challenge or
two also especially if they are the thorny variety. The basic idea is to keep
the rose in an orderly fashion so that is does not become unwieldly in its
growth and unsightly in it's look. Pruning allows you to prune out all
the dead wood and unwanted growth back to the main stems and which then allows
you to refix lose stems to the trellis or wire to keep the new growth under
June and July are good months to plant new roses. So grab a rose book or visit
your local nursery to see what colourful delights you want to plant.