A Rough Winter for Roses

Author: admin  //  Category: landscaping ideas

Stephen Scanniello is NYBG’s Curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. The author of six books on roses, his latest is A Rose By Any Name. Stephen is the recipient of the Jane Righter Rose Medal from the Garden Club of America. He gardens in Barnegat, NJ.

New breaks on a 'Reve d'Or' rose plant

New breaks on a ‘Reve d’Or’ rose plant

Compost piles filled with blackened rose canes eclipsed the forsythia as the harbinger of this year’s rose season. Gardeners everywhere, dealing with the effects of a long cold winter followed by roller coaster spring temperatures, were left with no alternative but to prune their roses much more severely than they have in recent seasons. The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden wasn’t immune to this situation. From modern hybrids to rugged old roses, plants were shortened, some nearly to ground level. Am I worried? No. I look at this as “tough love” for roses.

Experienced gardeners know that this is an opportunity to rejuvenate a rose plant. With sharpened secateurs, and a shot of courage, this seemingly somber situation becomes a chance for you to improve the health of the rose bush. Removing dead wood and weakened canes encourages strong basal growth. By June, this plum-colored growth will produce beautiful roses.

The basal growth on 'Julia Child' points to a rose resurrected

The basal growth on ‘Julia Child’ points to a rose resurrected

Today, in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, every plant is bursting with life, promising that this rose season will be spectacular.

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