Back in March I fed the roses and some other plants in the garden, and commented sadly (and as it turned out, prematurely) on the giant beanstalk non-event. About a week after posting that post, the Cousin happened to be strolling through the garden when he remarked quite off-handedly that ‘your roses need pruning.’ I looked and saw that indeed the roses were launching preposterously tall stems towards the sky in a most ungainly manner, and that the Cousin was right, they needed pruning. I hadn’t noticed before.
Well. I repeatedly asked, even begged the Cousin to show me what the hell to do. I mean, I’d never pruned anything in my life, and was desperate not to kill the Landlord’s roses. The Cousin told me, at phone’s length, just to lop off ‘about a third’. A third of what, I asked. The bits I didn’t want any more. But which bits. This went on for a while.
Eventually I lured the Cousin back to the garden and made him point to where I should cut. It had to be just above a bud, he said, and the purpose was to make the rose less leggy and more bushy. Or something like that. The Cousin refused to take the secateurs and show me first hand, so in the end I sort of tried, and guessed, and probably hacked off more than necessary, or not enough. Who knows. But the roses are still alive, and that’s the main thing.
I’m supposed to do this twice a year, in March and November. I was a bit late this year, but in my north-east-facing front garden March kind of happens in April anyway, so it probably doesn’t matter too much.
Oh yes, and here is the cute little double pink ‘Forever Friends’ rose I planted in a suitable, possibly once be-rosed but now bare, gap in the front garden. A gift to the Landlords in advance in case I kill some plant of theirs by accident. The picture on the left was taken a fortnight ago, just after I planted it. The one on the left was taken this weekend. Amazing what a week of sunshine can do.