Symbolic pruning


All my roses are pruned, and I’ve helped quite a few friends with pruning of theirs.  I really enjoy pruning, but I understand many are intimidated by it.  A few simple guidelines are all you need.

Make sure your tools are sharp, and disinfect them between each bush.

Prune out dead and diseased wood and foliage, crossing branches and inward growing branches (generally in that order).

Cut back the bush by a third to a half, depending on how vigorous it is.  Try to cut just above an outward facing bud.

Spray the bush and surrounding soil with lime sulphur to kill over wintering spores of fungal disease.

That’s all there is to it.  Really.

While you are pruning away, you can use the time to think about what you want to prune from your own life.  We all have our own version of dead wood and diseased foliage.  Like the rose bush, our new spring growth might be healthier and more shapely if we can do a little symbolic pruning of our own.

The deadwood that I would most like to prune from my life is my general aversion to exercise.  Spending more time in the garden would have the double benefit of a better garden in spring and more energy expenditure.  So I will be spending the last days of my freedom from work (far too short!!!) weeding, pruning, raking, and generally preparing for a new planting season. I have about eight new roses due fairly soon, and its going to take some creativity to figure out where they go!

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