Subduing The Beast

Rose pruning is a season of grasped opportunity.By it's nature , January can feature chilly, foggy , wet days and it would seem that the few days of sunshine invariably occur when one is at the office. Therefore, a Saturday in January that dawns frostless and dry creates a sense of urgency to get outdoors before the weather deteriorates, or the new buds begin to swell beneath the old tatty black-spot ridden foliage. With over 60 roses the project typically meanders into February.This gardener is easilly distracted by by weeds -which are legion- and clean up chores from fall that remain undone.Least attractive is the irksome task of striping foliage from climbers that have stubbornly refused to enter dormancy. Why is it always the specimen with the perilously thorny 20 foot long canes that behaves this way ? Puncture wounds prevail.

Stangely though, this annual business becomes something of an artisctic endeavor as it proceeds-one stands back and admires the the neatly lopped tresses, bent into submission and tidily re-afixed to the fence or arbor, and makes touch-up cuts where the initial pruning does not please the eye.It is satisfying, even though futile. By June the powerful surge of spring and early summer growth will have hidden the fence, canes will burst free from the ties, neighboring plants will have become victims, struggling to be seen.


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