Cosmetic Surgery

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:


to 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.

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