I do this every year. Well, one year my husband did it instead. We remove 90-95% of the rose biomass in the front garden, going from this:
in the space of an hour.
I like this task. It is one of the very few gardening tasks I actually enjoy. I get to do it standing up. It doesn’t take long. The results are immediately obvious. It keeps my mind active as I make multiple decisions on where to cut with the following goals in mind:
- make the canes shorter than waist height
- keep the plant “airy” without a lot of center growth and without criss-crossing canes
- remove diseased bits
- guide each plant to grow in preferred directions (i.e. up and sideways, not out over the driveways on either side)
- leave a few leaves so the plants can still get energy from the sun
It’ll seem like no time between now and when the roses are once more taller than me.