Easy To Love Roses

'Miracle on the Hudson' at The Biltmore the day it swept the show winning 'Best Overall category

‘Easy Spirit’ Makes Spirits Soar

'Easy Spirit' Floribunda Rose Will Lift Your Spirit

'Easy Spirit' hybridized by Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses, Cover Girl of the 2018 #WeeksRoses Catalog is: >Non-burning>Disease resistant>Fragrant>Long Lasting #GardenLegends #video #videos #bestroses

Posted by Garden Legends on Tuesday, September 4, 2018
‘Easy Spirit’

Easy-To-Love® Rose Collection Addition

  1. Long Lasting cream flowers, non-burning
  2. Natural disease resistance
  3. Compact, beautiful glossy green foliage

‘Roses For Every Garden’. That’s the title of my presentation at the Chicago Flower & Garden at Navy Pier in March. Today, more than ever ‘roses’ are a growing category that covers ‘a lot of ground’; from shrubs to trees. Education is your key to success. Planning your rose garden is enjoyable and it opens the door to everything you dreamed your rose garden could be.

Definition of a Rose Garden

“A rose garden is a gathering place created by planting two or more rose bushes making a tapestry of nature’s color, design and fragrance a symphony of serenity to all that wander in.” Susan Fox

3 Dream Rose Garden Characteristics



Easy To Grow

Shovel Pruning Is Part Of The Plan

Right now in a good part of the country if you are having a late spring you can still evaluate your roses. The plan I have put in place is to evaluate roses that are not winter hardy and replace them with roses that can survive even in zone 3, Canada. Today I’m featuring three very winter hardy roses.

If You Don’t Have ‘Em – Get ‘Em!

If you don’t have these roses and you are out in the garden centers and see the roses described in this article get them because most of the bare root sellers are sold out.

‘Party Hardy’ – Rose Growers Dream!

‘Party Hardy’ Bred by Christian Bédard (2009) To Survive The Canadian Winters Also Is Blooming In November

‘Party Hardy’ Characteristics

  1. Winter hardy, Bred in Canada by Christian Bedard to survive cold climates
  2. Plant and prune as a shrub or grow as a climber
  3. Beautiful color, foliage, & mild fragrance

‘Miracle On The Hudson’ Best of The Best!

'Miracle On The Hudson' | Best Shrub| by Robery Neal Rippetoe @FrancisRoses Most Disease Resistant | Best Growth Habit | Overall Winner | Best Over All Biltmore Rose Trials
‘Miracle On The Hudson’ | Best Shrub| by Robery Neal Rippetoe @FrancisRoses Most Disease Resistant | Best Growth Habit | Overall Winner | Best Over All Biltmore Rose Trials

‘Miracle On The Hudson’ Characteristics

  1. Extremely Winter Hardy
  2. Naturally Disease Resistant
  3. Prolific bloomer

New from Weeks Roses

  1. ‘State of Grace’
  2. ‘Queen of Elegance’
  3. ‘Life’s Little Pleasures’
  4. ‘In Your Eyes’

All of the Weeks Roses are just planted and we’ll be seeing what they look like in about 6 weeks!

10 Rose Pruning Safety Tips

Corona Garden Snips

Look at Weeks Roses 'Watercolors Homerun' get its first #prune with Corona Tools after returning from Chicago Flower & Garden Show. I have on my The Rose Gardener, Bionic Gloves! See the #forsythia The Garden Diary and The Redneck Rosarian!!! #roses #pruning #GardenTips #DIY #garden #videos Roseraies Meilland Richardier

Posted by Gagas Garden on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
The Rose Garden | This Picture Can Barely Capture the Glory of It
The Rose Garden | This Picture Can Barely Capture the Glory of It

Bloom All At Once Or…

Many rosarians are over achievers. They are excited to get out and get their roses ready for the first bloom. You have a decision to make before you prune your roses. Do you want your roses to bloom all at once for the greatest impact? Or, do you want your roses to bloom in stages? When it is time to go out and prune we often feel like we have to do it all at once.

Staged Bloom?

‘Iceberg’ Floribunda Rose next to ‘Kimberlina’ Floribunda Rose

Rose Pruning Elbow!? Oh No!

One year pruning 200 roses over the course of a couple of days I developed a severe case of acute tendonitis, or tennis elbow! Getting tennis elbow from playing tennis sounds a bit more glamorous than getting tennis elbow from pruning 200 roses I think. I had to wear a brace for a long time since tendons are a bear to heal and every time I picked up the clippers they would just release without that brace on. So here are a few way ways we can take care not to over do it and be sure to not have pruning take a bite out of YOU!

Safety Tips For Pruning Roses

  1. Stretch before starting to garden
  2. Use good body mechanics, warm up muscles
  3. Sit when you can or invest in a good rolling cart
  4. Lift with your legs and keep your back straight
  5. Use the big muscles in your legs to perform lifting, bending, shoveling
  6. When pruning or weeding be sure you are stable to avoid tipping backward
  7. Maintain a good posture to avoid back strain by not hunching over
  8. Always use a kneeling pad and gloves, preferably gaunlets
  9. Well maintained pruners make for easier cuts
  10. Practice gentle strength- have the best tools in top condition and don’t try to do everything at once
My Corona Gardening Tools | Gloves for Protection
My Corona Gardening Tools

Rose Hobby or Passion?

A friend said to me once “what a lovely hobby you have” referring to rose gardening. I remember I was taken aback by the word hobby because growing roses is so much more to me than a hobby. I feel gardening is good for the body, mind and soul. There is a spiritual element to being one with nature, digging in the dirt and watching a garden become a creation. There are quiet, reflective and meditative times alone in the garden that are some of the most intensely satisfying moments one can imagine. You can truly be present in a moment in your rose garden. It can be even better if you take care of yourself, so you can continue working in your garden and it will reward you far more than you can imagine.

5 Tips To Grow Peonies

Peony Arrangement at P. Allen Smith's #G2B15

Tree Peonies Bloom on Old Wood

Tree peonies are significantly different than peonies because they sprout growth on the old canes left from the year before. So do not cut down the old canes on your tree peonies like ‘Black Dragon’ tree peony that I am showing you in the video. Here’s the remarkable growth sprouting on the old canes from last year:

‘Black Dragon’ Tree Peony Growth on ‘Old Wood’ Canes from last year view 1
'Black Dragon' Tree Peony Growth on 'Old Wood'Canes from last year
‘Black Dragon’ Tree Peony Growth on ‘Old Wood’ Canes from last year View 2
'Black Dragon' Tree Peony Growth on 'Old Wood' Canes from last year
‘Black Dragon’ Tree Peony Growth on ‘Old Wood’ Canes from last year View 3

Glorious Fragrant Peonies

Pink Peonies in Illinois
Pink Peonies in Illinois

Mom’s 5 Tips On Growing Peonies

Peonies require minimal care when planted properly

  1. Plant peonies at ground level or they “will come up blind” meaning they won’t bloom. Plant tubers no deeper than 2 inches deep in northern climates with eyes pointing up.
  2. Add 2-4 cups of bone meal around each plant per year and gently work into the soil then cover with a layer of peat moss.
  3. Surround your peonies with Canadian sphagnum peat moss and work into the soil every year.
  4. Ants are attracted to and eat the sweet nectar secreted by the peony bud. This is why folks often thought ants were required for peonies to bloom by ‘eating open’ the bud. Ants do not harm the plant and aren’t required for the buds to open. They disappear after blooming.
  5. Divide the peony with a sharp pruning shovel to propagate the plant. It’s best to divide peonies when they are dormant or they may not bloom for a few years. My peonies were still dormant that were buried in bushes in the spring and they have propagated with great success.

First Things First

“Peonies bloom before roses do, so for a fantastic bloom prior to pruning your roses follow 5 simple Peony Tips for a glorious spring bloom”

White Peony Found in The Secret Garden
White Peony Found in The Secret Garden
Divided Peonies Season after Dividing In The Video View 1
Peony Results After Dividing
Peony Results After Dividing View 2
Divided Peony Results
Divided Peony Results View 3

I’m so thrilled these old peonies divided so nicely. Happy Spring! Enjoy Your Peonies!

Portland Rose Society Guide To Pruning Roses

Rose Pruning Cart Ready For Rose Pruning Season


As Spring progresses, gardeners begin to get anxious, particularly the rose gardener who wants to get out and prune the roses. Pruning roses is really a rather simple process, but a process which is hard to put into words. Every experienced rose grower will describe the technique slightly differently and probably will do it slightly differently. One important fact to remember is that no matter how you prune, unless you cut the rose off below the ground line, it will survive and bloom. A total lack of pruning will yield poorer results than any amount of over pruning you may do. So prune with confidence and the results will be good. A fact to remember is that we prune rose bushes for us, not for the rose. The rose will continue to thrive even if it has no pruning done to it, but it will not be as beautiful. To learn more about pruning roses, attend one of the pruning demonstrations presented by the PRS where you can ask specific questions, (the schedule of pruning demonstrations is in the PRS calendar), but for those who cannot attend, the following information should suffice as a guide to pruning roses competently and with confidence.


Identifying The Strongest Healthiest Canes

In studying the bottom of the bush, identify the youngest and strongest canes. These can be identified by their color, texture and size. Young canes, one or two years old, are usually green in color and have a relatively smooth outer surface. As canes age they will usually become darker or grey-brown in color as it develops a thicker bark. Aging canes also become rough in texture due to the cracking and peeling of the outer bark. With hybrid tea roses, canes which are easily identified as being old, are usually not very productive and should be entirely removed by cutting them off at the bud union (their origin) using loppers or a pruning saw. (See the darkened cane in the illustration to the right.) A non-productive older cane can be identified by looking at last year’s growth emanating from it. If all of the growth coming from an old cane is small and twiggy it is a sign that this is a cane that should be removed because it is no longer able to produce vigorous new growth and flowers. An old cane that has large healthy looking secondary canes coming from it is usually still productive and should be saved. If a cane is to be removed cut it off as close to the bud union as possible. Stumps of canes left protruding from the bud union after pruning are unattractive. If stumps are left sticking up they will eventually be consumed by fungi and will rot away. Since gardening is about beauty, try to remove old canes during pruning, the result is more pleasing than rotting stumps. 

Opening Up The Center of The Rose Bush

Next, remove any of the younger canes which cross the middle of the bush. These canes should either be removed entirely back to the bud union, or back to the major cane from which they originated. Growth from crossing canes will become intertwined with other new growth with the net result being fewer quality flowers. Then remove canes which are crowded close to each other, usually leaving the larger one of each crowded pair. Finally, if there is any twiggy growth remaining anywhere on the bush, remove it back to its point of origin. (All of the dark colored areas on the bush in the illustration would be removed to achieve the desired effect.) 

'Double Delight' hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection
‘Double Delight’ hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection

Pruned In A Vase Like Shape Open In Center

When the pruning is finished, the ideal rose bush will have only sturdy, healthy canes radiating from the bud union. In reality, this ideal is rarely achieved. Most bushes do not have enough canes growing in just the right directions to be ideal. If the bush has only 2, 3 or 4 canes, it would be best to allow them all to remain, unless one of them is truly a nonproductive old cane. If the rose has 5 to 7 or more canes, you can then begin making decisions about which ones to remove to achieve a pleasing balance. For most rose bushes, an outcome similar to the diagram below would be desirable.

Ideal Rose Bush With Health Canes

Maintaining a Disease Free Rose Bed

Also at this time, if there are still old leaves clinging to any of the canes, which is not likely, remove them because old leaves which have over-wintered may be disease carriers. These leaves should come off easily with a slight pull. Finally, spray the newly pruned bushes with a summer use fungicide. Do not apply any dormant sprays after pruning. The most common dormant sprays contain chemicals at concentrations that may damage the young buds that have already begun to grow. Many of this year’s disease problems are initiated when the buds first begin to grow, which they are probably already doing. Fungus spores which often over-winter on the canes and under the vegetative bud scales which cover the dormant buds can infect the bush as the buds begin to break, unless a preventative fungicidal spray is used. Spraying with fungicides should be repeated at 10 day to two week intervals during wet or damp weather to help maintain disease free bushes. 

Clean Out Garden Debris

How low should hybrid tea roses be pruned? Again, every experienced rose grower will probably give a slightly different answer. 

Three Categories Of Pruning

There are basically three general categories recognized for finished pruning height. The first is referred to as “hard pruning”. The illustrations at the right depict an average rose bush before pruning and after it has been “hard” pruned. When doing a hard pruning, the canes are cut back to a length such that there are only three or four buds on each of three to five canes. This will result in leaving only very sturdy canes about 5-12 inches long. Hard pruning is sometimes recommended for newly planted roses and is often used by exhibitors to promote the growth of exhibition quality blooms. The logic behind this is that the new canes which will grow from the old canes can be no larger than the ones from which they originated. So, if the new canes grow from very large canes, there is a good possibility that they will be large too. These larger flowering canes often produce larger flowers. Overall the result from hard pruning is larger but fewer flowers on the bush.

Hard Pruning

The second category is “moderate pruning”. The illustration at the right depicts the same plant after a moderate pruning. In this method, the canes are cut back to about 12-18 inches. Weaker than average canes need to be reduced by more than this amount. This is the recommended pruning style for most HT’s and floribundas in home gardens. This method of pruning will result in a bush that will produce more flowers and a bigger plant during the current season, but these flowers may be slightly smaller and the canes a little smaller than if the rose was given a “hard pruning”. 

Moderate Pruning

The third category of spring pruning is “light pruning”. The illustration at the right depicts the same plant with light pruning. In light pruning, the canes are cut back so that about two-thirds of their length still remains when the job is finished. Light pruning is not generally recommended because it often results in overly tall, spindly bushes in our climate area. These bushes will bear blooms earlier in the year, but the blooms will often be of poor quality and without stems suitable for cutting. The stems that are produced may have insufficient size to hold up the flowers. Among the hybrid tea roses there seems to be at least one exception to moderate pruning being the best practice. Peace roses and their descendants seem to perform better if given a light pruning. However, it is still wise to remove all the little and twiggy growth. 

Light Pruning & Climbers

The severity of pruning has less influence over the growth and flower production of the bush than we think, unless little to no pruning is done. When we have had severe winters in Portland, severe enough to have killed a majority of rose canes all the way to the bud union, (to the ground), we have had some of our best spring rose shows, indicating that the bushes have the ability to re-grow rapidly. When winters are mild to moderate, like the current winter has been (so far), many people are prompted to do only a light pruning on the roses since all of the canes are alive and sprouting. When pruning time approaches, there may already be a lot of leafy growth on the roses and this is very difficult for many novice rose growers, and others, to remove during the pruning process. These lightly pruned bushes will produce lots of growth from the ends of the relatively small canes. This new growth will tend to be small in diameter and much of it may be broken off by the spring rains or by the weight of developing flowers. So, do not be afraid that you will over prune. It is almost always true that pruning too hard will produce better results than pruning too little. 

NOTE: During any pruning take note of the color of the cut surface of the cane. It should be almost white. If the cut surface of the cane (stem) is brown it indicates that the cane has been damaged by the winter, and you need to cut it again a little lower until you find undamaged cane. It takes time for freeze damage to develop so it is possible that some healthy looking canes will need to be pruned again later in the spring. 


'Stormy Weather', LCI Beautiful large flowered climber blooming in candelabra of purple blooms or do you call them mauve?
‘Stormy Weather’, LCI Beautiful large flowered climbing rose bush blooming in candelabra of purple blooms or do you call them mauve?

Climbers need to be pruned differently. If a climber is trained into a horizontal position, as illustrated in the diagram, the only pruning that should be done in the spring is to prune the laterals, the short upright shoots coming from the main canes. These laterals should be reduced in length by pruning such that only two or three bud eyes remain, which is usually about 2-4 inches. An alternate method is to completely remove the laterals. The rose will then produce new laterals from dormant eyes in the main cane. The areas of pruning are marked with slashes on the diagram. Also, any old canes that are detected as being unproductive (no vigorous growth being produced by them in the previous year) should be removed to ground level (the bud union). New canes should be trained by tying them into a horizontal position. Any additional pruning should be done only to shape the bush to fit the style that is desired and to keep it in bounds. Climbers are meant to be large so we leave a lot of healthy wood. 


All A Twitter Re-Potted | Mini Hanging Basket
All A Twitter Re-Potted | Mini Hanging Basket

Miniature roses are pruned in much the same way as hybrid tea roses, just on a smaller scale. Prune healthy canes back to 4 to 8 inches long and remove all the twiggy growth. Miniatures are very vigorous and will respond well to severe pruning by producing a number of new basal breaks, new stems originating from below the ground. You can prune them by shearing them if you like. 

Old Garden Roses | Bloom On Old Wood

At this time, OGR’s and other onetime bloomers should be only lightly pruned to shape and control their size and to remove old unproductive wood. More pruning can be done, but these rose types produce their blooms on old wood and removing additional wood now reduces this year’s blooms. Save any major pruning on these roses until the blooming cycle is completed. 

English Roses | David Austin’s

‘Abraham Darby’ by David Austin Roses

The English (David Austin’s) roses may be pruned like hybrid teas, but using the light to moderate pruning methods. Most of the English roses bloom on new wood, so pruning is done to produce a healthy base that can accommodate the current year’s growth just like HT’s, floribundas etc. Basically, if they grow like a climber, prune them like a climber and if they grow like a hybrid tea rose, prune them like a hybrid tea. I

In summation for any rose plant – remove all parts of the bush that are too small or weak to hold up the growth anticipated for this year and leave as much strong wood as you want, the more you leave the bigger the bush will be and the more flowers you will get. Portland Rose Society

This PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY GUIDE TO PRUNING ROSES was reprinted with permission from Rich Baer of the PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY P.O. Box 515 Portland, OR 97207

If you are interested in more information about the PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY please visit their website www.portlandrosesociety.org for a calendar of events, membership information, upcoming events and about products available for their fundraisers.