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Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

You wouldn't think that at the start of the autumn rains here in Pemberton one should be thinking about anything other than watching the snowline creep down the mountains, but actually fall is the perfect time to prepare your roses for the winter, and next year's growing season.

The turn of the temperature often finds bigger blooms and sharper colours than you will find during the suffocating heat of summer, and its nice to not have to worry about constant feeding and trimming.

Speaking of which, one of the biggest 'no-nos' this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere is pruning roses back too hard (unless you have really leggy ramblers). Last year, I thought I was being proactive by trimming back my rose bushes in the autumn, but discovered that due to winter die-back, I had to prune even more in the spring! Doh!

Garden wisdom #1: wait until forsythia blooms before pruning rose.

Also, experts (not me, but 'experts') say to wait until spring to cut back rose hips (those interesting red-orange buds that form after the blooms fade), as they are Nature's Way of letting the rose know that WINTER IS COMING. On the other hand, keeping your roses tidy by removing dead, yellowing leaves and keeping the base of the bushes clean of debris is always a good idea with tender roses.

While I am known to show most of my garden plants some serious 'tough love' - in a 'survival-of-the-fittest' way- roses are such soft-petaled plants, despite the thorns, that I baby them a bit more than the other plants by covering their roots with an extra handful or two of compost with a layer of leaf litter on top.

By the way, do you know what the meanings of the colours of roses are? I never knew so did a little researching:

RED - Love and Romance

YELLOW - Friendship, Joy and Get Well

LAVENDER: Enchantment, Majesty, Love at First Sight

DARK PINK: Gratitude and Appreciation

LIGHT PINK: Gentleness and admiration

WHITE: Purity, Innocence, Sympathy, Spirituality

ORANGE: Desire, Enthusiasm, and Passion

PEACH: Desire and Excitement

CREAM: Charm and Thoughtfulness

BURGUNDY: Unconscious beauty


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