HOLD THE PRUNERS

                                                                             

I have for several years grown the ‘Knockout Roses’. They had so much good PR, I was sold. Since it promised a long season of color,( something clients inevitable ask me for) I thought I needed to try them. Well, they did indeed bloom all summer long and stopped only around Christmas but they were far from ‘maintenance free’.

                                                                      

Why I started pruning them I’m not sure, but I was advised by several gardeners that one ‘had to’. This year I did not, well not all. I did start out cutting them back some but stopped when I was reminded of Vita Sackville West’s* plea to just trim roses lightly. So I did. She is/was after all, one of my first mentors.(I read everything I could on her, and everything she wrote that I could access.)
 
                                                                      

It worked! While I had complained before of their stiff habit; I now see  they can be a  graceful cascading plant. What will happen during the summer? I’ll keep you posted.

 Now, what to do about their lack of  fragrance?

NOTE: the wire cage in front is protecting a newly planted antique rose from the deer.

*Vita Sackville West was the planting genius behind the garden at Sissinghurst Castle, Kent England.

© All photos & text 2010

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