Monday, August 10, 2009

Cutting Remarks

Truly, A Rose Between Two Thorns

Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON


I had to photograph these roses just before I cut them down, just to remind us all how resilient these plants are - some of them flowering even in the Australian winter that gets colder the further south you go in the country-continent.

Last week we completed the pruning of the roses at Casa Authorblog - a long process, because there are so many rose bushes around the property. A lot of people start cutting their roses back as soon as winter begins, but I have a slightly different theory.

The way I figure it, there’s not much point cutting roses back while we still get heavy frost as well as ice in the morning. So I let them be, with their straggly branches bare of any leaves, but I get the secateurs out in late July, when the worst of the frosts are behind us.

Then we begin the long job of pruning each bush. Some of them grow to the limit of my arm’s reach, and there is one climbing rose in particular that reaches about four metres in height. As each bush is pruned, we use secateurs to cut the branches into smaller bits and these are then loaded into a special bin for gardening-related items.

Already, some of the bushes have started to sprout new growth, fresh leaves and shoots that are a rich burgundy. And now I start checking each bush for aphids, those little green insects that suck the life out of any fresh shoots.

Kinda like an "Aphid and Goliath" situation, huh?


Visit Luiz Santilli Jr for the home of Today's Flowers.

27 comments:

Maggie May said...

Cutting back does promote new growth.
What fine roses. Your winters are not as severe as ours as there is nothing much in flower during November/December in England.

lakeviewer said...

Because of strong winds we need to trim our bushes so they don't get knocked down and save the heavy pruning until the end of winter, just as we look forward to spring.

Ananda girl said...

I think you have to develop sort of a dance with roses that is unique to your growing place. So many things can factor into it. The are wonderful to look at... you're good at the rose dance!

darsden said...

they are lovely I can smell them from here.

Pouty Lips said...

Aphid and Goliath - good one.

Gaston Studio said...

Beautiful roses David and it's obvious you take very good care of them. Agree with Pouty, Aphid and Goliath is a very good one!

vicki archer said...

I agree with your rose theory David and cut back here later in the season too. My biggest enemies are the white and black spots...nasty little creatures, xv.

Tranquility said...

Those are GORGEOUS!

Marguerite said...

Lovely roses, even in winter. Can't wait to see the rose garden in full bloom at Casa Authorblog!

Beth said...

A nice bright spot for a winter day.

Pat - Arkansas said...

"Aphid and Goliath?" LOL

Beautiful roses, David.

L.T. Elliot said...

Very beautiful pictures and flowers!

i beati said...

what do we call this fabulous color?????

Moannie said...

Heavens to Betsy: Aphid and Goliath?
I cut our Roses back after the first growth and then get a second lot, smaller but still lovely.

Everything seems to have bloomed and blossomed this year, the garden is a riot of colour.

Robynn's Ravings said...

Beautiful colors, very peaceful.

TechnoBabe said...

Your roses look so healthy and strong. What do you use if you do find aphids? Do you spray with soapy water?

Annie said...

you always have beautiful roses David..good on you...!

Cynthia said...

Love the rose photograph, David. The petals are so delicate and touchable.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

That is a lovely colored rose.

One thing I have learned about gardening is that there is more than one way to get the same end results. If you have a system that works stick with it.

Our roses go quite late in the season here. They can certainly tolerate a few light frosts. It sounds like they take longer to wake up in the spring around here.

guild-rez said...

On one very cold winter morning I found a tiny red rose still blooming but buried under the snow.
What a happy moment, knowing that the winter will be over and roses will bloom again in my garden.

Very lovely rose pictures!

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

These are beautiful flowers!

Thanks for visiting my blog, David...and I'm glad you haven't had to face down a rattler! Come back anytime!

Tammie Lee said...

these are exquisite roses. That sounds like a lot of work. It also sounds like a meditative wonderful work that I would enjoy.
Spirithelpers

mrsnesbitt said...

For some reason I am not good with roses! Next time you are in UK David pop by with your pruners! lol!

Shadow said...

that's a beautiful colour!

Deb said...

Roses in winter? Mind boggling ! I have always steered away from growing roses - I don't think my green thumb is green enough yet. Enjoyed the color of this one!

Denise said...

Strong, sturdy roses and glorious ones at that.

Lee said...

These are SO beautiful, David! Thank you! Those lovely blooms combined with this mornings nice breeze from my patio let me forget for a moment that San Antonio is in the midst of summer. For a moment it felt like spring. :-)

Cheers!