Rose Pruning Review

Gaga's Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois

“It’s like déjà vu all over again.” ~ Yogi Berra

Gaga's Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois
Gaga’s Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois Featuring Gene Boerner | From Pruned To Bloom

Have you ever experienced déjà vu and wondered: was that true déjà vu or have I actually done the exact same thing at the same time last year? My rose pruning, is a ritualistic Rite of Spring. The ‘Rite of Spring’ is an actual ballet and orchestral concert work by Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky, that when first performed, at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913, the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. I understand, if the symphony is anything like the cacophony of nature during spring and the urge to prune our bushes. Rosarians, and most all gardeners live for spring. It’s that simple. We lift leaves to peek for new growth and basal breaks.

Rosarians live for seeing new basal breaks
Rosarians live for seeing new basal breaks

What Is A Basal Break?

A basal break is a new cane that sprouts from the bud union on grafted roses and from the ground on roses grown on their own root. The most exciting discovery for rose lovers are new basal breaks on their rose bushes. Fresh, renewed growth – the sign of a healthy plant– and a promise of new flowers to come makes our work exciting and worthwhile.Use the proper tools  Corona_Principles_of_Pruning

How Can We Protect Basal Breaks?

'Corona Tools' Principals of Pruning Guide
‘Corona Tools’ Principals of Pruning Guide | Get Your PDF

Today let’s talk about pruning roses and some of the most finite processes that require delicate tools that let you feel like an artist or a surgeon.

Gardeners love to work with their hands. That’s why we love tools. Tools that allow us to do more finite work make us feel in touch with the force of nature.

Its All In The Tools

Corona Needle Nose Pruners
Corona Needle Nose Pruners

You can see by the demonstration in the pictures how the needlenose pruners, loppers and the small fork allow us to get close to delicate growth while protecting it. These are the tools that let you get close and protect delicate new growth. A picture of how these tools work is worth a thousand words.

Corona Convertible Loppers
Corona Convertible Loppers

Have thee tools ready. God will find thee work. ~ Charles Kingsley

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Roses Things-To-Do Fall Checklist

'Oso Easy' Paprika in the Fall | Falling Leaves
'Pumpkin Patch Russet Floribunda Rose in the Fall
‘Pumpkin Patch’ Russet floribunda rose in the Fall

Temperatures in September are perfect to spend time in your rose garden throughout much of the country. You can enjoy the fruits of your labor and contemplate strategies for expansion and begin to winterize your roses. Make it a family activity by getting the children involved and teaching them about rose & garden care. Children love to help. My grandson with Down syndrome loves to haul bags of mulch. I don’t know what it is about digging but give a child a garden trowel and a place to dig and you have a happy kid.

Kids Love Tools
Kids Love Tools, hauling and digging

Also be on the look-out for plant bargains. At this time of year you can find the last of the season’s perennials; stragglers begging for a little TLC at the local garden centers. Plant them this fall and they’ll come roaring back as beautiful plants year after year. Garden tip: Save the name tags.

Fall in most parts of the country can produce a spectacular rose bloom. From Wisconsin to Texas I’ve seen roses blooming through the holidays. Remember roses can tolerate 3 days of hard frost of temperatures below 21 degrees before they are fully dormant for the season. So you can plan on roses for your bouquets for the Thanksgiving table even in Illinois, maybe Wisconsin. September is time to determine if there are still any American Rose Society rose shows in the area you may want to exhibit as well. The nights in the 2nd half of the month begin to get cooler which creates an environment for black spot and mildew, so continue your environmentally friendly spraying program to control black spot and mildew.

Here’s my September Rose Garden Check List. As I mentioned last year I swear by Will Radler’s method of winter rose protection. I publish Deb Kaiser’s method who I have the most respect for since she grows and cares for roses in Minnesota. I do believe roses in the far north require a bit more protection. Click for Deb Kaiser’s Winter Rose Protection Method Specialist of the Munsinger & Clemins Gardens, St. Cloud, MN.

“There are many factors why plants are winter hardy. ~ Will Radler

“When artificial means are used to bring a plant through winter, often they can conflict with some beneficial factors. For die-back-hardy woody plants, the simplest winter protection technique is applying a few inches of mulch year round. This allows the plant in the autumn to grow into its fullest state of natural dormancy. It prevents the soil from getting as cold as would in open ground. And it allows the plant to break dormancy slower in the spring. Cutting back the canes only in the spring provides shade to the lower branches and helps attract snow cover that insulates and guards against low temperature injury and fluctuating temperatures.” ~ Will Radler

Fall Rose Garden Check List

  1. Dead-head for the last time, Allow rose hips* to form signaling its time for the plant to go into dormancy.

    'Earth Song' Making Rose Hips
    ‘Earth Song’, Dr. Griffith J. Buck Grandiflora ‘Earth Kind’ grandiflora rose producing rose hips, gently signaling to the rose bush that its time to go into dormancy. It’s next to ‘Abraham Darby’ by David Austin Roses.
  2. Remove debris, remember that black spot ‘over-winters’ and you will battle it next spring if not removed.

    Corona Rake to rake up debris around 'Pumpkin Patch'
    Corona Rake to rake up debris around ‘Pumpkin Patch’
  3. Fertilize for the last time for the 2016 season, I add 2 cups of Mills Magic Rose Food at the base of the plant

    Mills Magic Rose Food | Add 2 cups around the base of each rose | Cover with Canadian Spagnum peat moss
    Mills Magic Rose Food | Add 2 cups around the base of each rose
  4. Apply a layer of Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss.

    'Europeana' with all debris removed, fertilized, one layer of Canadian spagnum peat moss added prior to 6-6 inches of hard wood mulch for winter protection
    ‘Europeana’ floribunda rose with all debris removed, fertilized, one layer of Canadian spagnum peat moss added prior to 6-6 inches of hard wood mulch for winter protection
  5. Order, buy, spread hard wood mulch* as your winter cover; I’m using the William Radler winterizing method.

    Will Radler, Creator of The Knock Out® Family of Roses | He changed the face of the landscaping with a single rose bush
    Will Radler, Creator of The Knock Out® Family of Roses | He changed the face of the landscaping with a single rose bush
  6. Prune the bush like a vase, I removed weak inside canes.

    '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 Sphagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection
  7. Each Rose bush will be covered for winter with hardwood mulch about 4-6 inches.

    'Livin' Easy' Floribunda Rose Final Fertilization With Hard Wood Mulch Application In September For Winterization Covering
    ‘Livin’ Easy’ Floribunda Rose Final Fertilization With Hard Wood Mulch Application In September For Winter Covering
  8. Inventory your garden rate your rose bushes: keepers, maybe, replace.

    Gaga's Garden In Bloom
    Gaga’s Garden In Bloom Takes on Similar Patterns Each Year
  9. Order Name Plates If you show roses its essential that you correctly identify your rose or you can be dis-qualified for improper identification.

    'Elle' hybrid tea rose by Mouchette/Meilland Named for my granddaughters with an engraved name plate
    ‘Elle’ hybrid tea rose by Mouchette/Meilland Named for my granddaughters with an engraved name plate
  10. Deep watering method to 8 inches continue to water as long as the ground is not frozen.
    Drip Watering System shown on 'Europeana'
    Drip Watering System shown on ‘Europeana’

    11. Trim tall canes. In October you may want to trim tall canes that winter winds will blow and damage other bushes.

    'Olympiad' cane over 7 feet tall that will be trimmed back next month after frost
    ‘Olympiad’ cane over 7 feet tall that will be trimmed back next month after frost

    Listly

    [listly id=”1Eax” layout=”full” per_page=”25″]

Q: What are Rosehips?

A: Blooms not cut will form rosehips which are the fruit of the rose plant containing the seeds. They form when you don’t cut spent blooms and start the bush into a slow dormancy process. You can remove the petals if you don’t want the petals to fall into the garden. The formation of rosehips signals to the plant that its time to go into dormancy for winter. The plant then gently ‘hardens off’ for winter.

Q: Why do you use hard wood mulch?

A: Because hard wood mulch is fully organic and biodegradable breaking down completely to help convert nutrients in clay soil.

I would like to dedicate this year’s Winterizing Roses article to Marsha Collier who wrote “Ebay for Dummies’ because she was ask me about what to do in the fall with her roses. She is an avid rose gardener, and looks to me like she does most things very well. Thank-you Marsha!

 

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Rose Patterns

'Uncle Joe' known for having the most petals of any hybris tea growing in the pattern of a 'T'
Gaga's Garden In Bloom
Gaga’s Garden In Bloom Takes on Similar Patterns Each Year

Rose bloom cycles have unique patterns of growth that are distinguishable upon a visual registry of familiarity. A familiarity that is built on time and and meditative reflection together with your garden. What are some of the ways you can apply your own visualization system to describe the differences you see in your own microclimate? There are so many contributing factors occurring at different times yet the same variables continue to impact what you see. Only a visualization system can fully record the full effect. Your garden takes on distinguishable patterns of growth that are determined by these factors just to name a few.

  • Dates of pruning
  • Dead-heading promptness
  • Fertilization schedule
  • Water levels
  • Sun
  • Disease
  • Draughts
  • Pests
  • Soil Type
  • Care
  • The Most Often Replicated Pattern: Gagas Garden Floribunda Rose Garden
    The Most Often Replicated Visualization Pattern: Gaga’s Garden Floribunda Rose Garden

As a former merchandiser I’ve suggested to gardeners that you keep a diary of historic natural events that impact your garden. All of our buying of merchandise was based on history. The same can be said for plans in your garden. Much of what will happen and your plans to purchase and budgets are based on historical data.

'Uncle Joe' known for having the most petals of any hybris tea growing in the pattern of a 'T'
‘Uncle Joe’ known for having the most petals of any hybrid tea growing in the pattern of a ‘T’ grows in the same shape every year

One of the most unusual patterns I’ve noticed in a visualization system of record keeping is that each rose bush no matter how it’s pruned grows back in the same symmetry. Year in and year out established bushes will recreate a pattern of growth quite similar if not almost the same in symmetric patterning. The genetic code reproduces an almost perfect replica of itself after a winter dormancy year in and year out. A mystery to me and yet one I observe and is part of my visualization system.

'Julia Child' floribunda grow in the same shapely form every year
‘Julia Child’ floribunda grow in the same shapely form every year

For your visualization system start a journal and take note of the varieties that are most likely to have the most similar growth patterns. Record these things:

  • What do you like about the growth characteristics?
  • Does the plant generate the same number of canes each year?
  • When do basal breaks occur?
  • What contributing factors change the plant growth pattern?
    Bolero'
    ‘Bolero’

    'Easy Does It' Patterned Growth Each Year
    ‘Easy Does It’ Patterned Growth Each Year

 

 

 

Roses; If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

The Rose Garden | This Picture Can Barely Capture the Glory of It
The Rose Garden | This Picture Can Barely Capture the Glory of It

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Did your Mama or Daddy teach you this, or even Grandmother?

Growing Green Peppers & Hot Peppers For The Family
Growing Green Peppers & Hot Peppers For The Family

As grown-ups my kids said to me “Mom, we had no idea you didn’t like bell peppers.” Because green peppers are a ‘super food’, I cooked with them and made stuffed green peppers. My entire family love green peppers. It was and is important to me that my children make their own decisions without me influencing them with negative comments.

Good Roses Start With The Right Soil| Organics Mechanics
Good Roses Start With The Right Soil | Organics Mechanics

We can heavily influence our friends and family by portraying people, plants & products in a positive light. You know its true. A third-party endorsement and good PR about a product or person is far more valuable than an advertisement. Why? Because anyone that can write a check can buy advertising; but when real people say good things about people or products it has the power to influence our decisions about that person, plant or product. I know I read the Amazon Reviews written by real people before I decide to buy a product.

The 'Back of the Lil Red Barn' Rose Garden
The ‘Back of the Lil Red Barn’ Rose Garden

Here’s an example about roses. I grew the popular hybrid tea rose ‘John F. Kennedy’ in N. Illinois in the 80’s. It didn’t perform well for me. I grew to dislike the rose. So when my Texas rose garden apprentice, friend and neighbor, Karen Crelia chose ‘John F. Kennedy’ for her front yard show piece rose I didn’t say one word. Remember there are variables in play like the Texas soil, climate  and which grower grew her plant that may affect how well her JFK would do. In the Texas climate and soil ‘John F. Kennedy’ may do very well. Guess what? Her ‘John F. Kennedy’ was spectacular!

'John F. Kennedy' Planted Bare Root Rose | First Bloom in Central Illinois
‘John F. Kennedy’ Planted Bare Root Rose | First Bloom in Central Illinois

So Here We Grow Again

‘John F’ Kennedy’ is blooming in the sandy loam soil of central Illinois with Organic Mechanics, organic soil. I add 2 cups of Mills Magic Rose Food. in the organic soil mix and top with Canadian Spagnum Peat Moss. This is my first bloom of ‘John F. Kennedy’ it was just planted this spring as a bare root rose. It looks like it’s going to do very well.

'John F. Kennedy' Planted Bare Root | First Bloom in Central Illinois
‘John F. Kennedy’ Planted Bare Root | First Bloom in Central Illinois

By the way. Chris Van Cleave said his Grandmother told him “If you can’t say something nice then come sit by me.” I love that quote!

Choose Amazon Smile | Support The American Rose Society
Choose Amazon Smile When You Shop | Support The American Rose Society

Rosy Raccoon Raiding Roses

Rosey Racoon Captured in a Safe Capture & Release Cage
Rosey Racoon | Here comes trouble with a capital 'T'! Right Here is Rose garden city!
Rosy Raccoon | It’s 3:00 AM Do You Know Where Your Raccoon Is? | I Do!

Things began to be tossed about in the rose garden. ‘Golden Showers'(LCI), a yellow large-flowered climber I just planted next to ‘Dublin Bay’ was dug up. The bird bath was slung into ‘Love Song’. Weight of the planters was no object.

It looked like a mini-Incredible Hulk was on a rose-garden rampage. Enter trail-cam. ‘Big Daddy’ is a problem solver. We needed facts. What type of creature are we dealing with? The first night I forgot and let our kitties, re-gifted to us by our grand-kids, fondly known as the garage girls outside and we captured a black kitty.

Squeaks was the first capture in our safe catch & release program!
Squeaks our black kitty that was re-gifted to us was the first capture in our safe catch & release program!

The second night we camouflaged the cage with ‘Big Daddy’s’ tarp. The temptation that landed us our Rose Garden midnight marauder was sardines! Oh yeah!

Rosey Racoon Captured in a Safe Capture & Release Cage
Rosy Raccoon Captured in a Safe Capture & Release Cage
Rosy Raccoon Turned Out To be Our Night Time Rose Garden Assailant
Rosy Raccoon Captured Along The Rose Walkway

Take note that Rosy must have felt right at home in the rose garden since we have a raccoon carving ‘Welcome Statue Carving’ at the entrance of the rose walkway. Look at the Trail Cam pic for the Raccoon carving. Irony abounds at Gaga’s Garden. Now Rosy Raccoon is captured. We believe in safe catch and release. We took her/him to a safe space in the witness protection program, a new identity, by a lake where there are no farms or homes for him to cause mischief or meet us back home before we get back.

Rosey Raccoon's Rose Walkway
Rosy Raccoon’s Rose Walkway