|Having a smell of some roses at Alnwick Gardens|
The lovely people at the RHS know lots about garden (possibly even more than me) so here are their tips on how to prune a rose:
- Late winter (February or March) is often a good time for pruning roses but see the individual rose profiles above for more specific timing.
- Cuts should be no more than 5mm (¼ in) above a bud and should slope away from it, so that water does not collect on the bud. This applies to all cuts, whether removing dead wood, deadheading or annual pruning
- Cut to an outward-facing bud to encourage an open-centred shape. With roses of spreading habit, prune some stems to inward-facing buds to encourage more upright growth
- Cut to the appropriate height, if a dormant bud is not visible
- Cuts must be clean, so keep your secateurs sharp. For larger stems, use loppers or a pruning saw
- Prune dieback to healthy white pith
- Cut out dead and diseased stems and spindly and crossing stems
- Aim for well-spaced stems that allow free air flow
- On established roses, cut out poorly flowering old wood and saw away old stubs that have failed to produce new shoots
- With the exception of climbing roses and shrub roses, prune all newly planted roses hard to encourage vigorous shoots
- Trace suckers back to the roots from which they grow and pull them away
So, now that you are armed with the facts you need to make sure you have good
secateurs. We have been trialling the Spear & Jackson Ratchet Anvil Secateurs. The manufacturers say they have a high carbon steel blade for strength and durability (which is PTFE coated for smoother cutting and rust resistance), cast aluminium alloy handles, non-slip grip, and a spring loaded metal locking catch. The recommended maximum cutting capacity is 20mm diameter. Here is our professional opinion on them from our garden maintenance team...
"Usefulness - Main function
The ratchet pruning shears were very useful when cutting small to medium branches or bamboo stalks and offered very good resistance when cutting through branches, absorbing the force of the cut and making the cut easier on the arms.The ratchet shears were less useful when cutting thinner branches or fleshy perennial plant stems and were too clumsy.The thin stems just got chewed up.
The shears are sturdy and strong and we didn't encounter any problems with durability. The safety catch on the shears was a so easy to use and well designed.
Anyone looking for shears which are ergonomic and which take some of the hard work out of gardening."
|Roses photographed by Julie Howden|
Sounds like they are worth considering if you are looking to add some new secateurs to your gardening tools.
I'll leave the last word to Abraham Lincoln who was a very important man (but didn't know the thorn versus prickles thing so not as clever as me!). He once said:
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”
Oh, and thanks to the lovely Julie Howden Photography for allowing us to share her beautiful rose photos with you. Julie does wedding, family, corporate and many other types of photography. And she's proper good!