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Make 2019 the year you start growing roses

PUBLISHED: 12:18 29 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:18 29 January 2019

Time to prune to be sure of beautiful, healthy roses in the summer, such as this Munstead Wood Picture: Sue Huckle/Posh Plants

Time to prune to be sure of beautiful, healthy roses in the summer, such as this Munstead Wood Picture: Sue Huckle/Posh Plants

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Now's the time to prune the roses. Sue Huckle of Posh Plants and Seven Acres Nursery offers a simple way to snip.

Don't be scared of pruning, says garden nursery owner  Sue Huckle of Posh Plants - pictured here is Rosa Queen of Sweden Picture: Sue Huckle/Posh PlantsDon't be scared of pruning, says garden nursery owner Sue Huckle of Posh Plants - pictured here is Rosa Queen of Sweden Picture: Sue Huckle/Posh Plants

Here we are in the depths of winter. It always catches me…that slide from one season to another, that sneaky little trick that nature has of controlling our world.

Autumn and spring are the seasons when she, that is “mother nature”, slips in a few tasters for us. Autumn with those glorious golden days with a bite of freshness and some early frosts. In spring, along with the treat of snowdrops, daffodils and emerging buds, she will tempt us with warm days.

Mother nature rules our world in a quiet and methodical way.

Being outside is great, both for the body and the mind. Spend an hour or two outside on a winter’s day and you will have a feeling of achieving something, of making a difference, as well as stretching the body.

Some roses have continued to bloom through the winter Picture: Sue Huckle/Posh PlantsSome roses have continued to bloom through the winter Picture: Sue Huckle/Posh Plants

Roses are the most amazing plants. In winter a rose plant is basically a stumpy twig with some straggly roots. In that unassuming structure is a plant which is everyone’s favourite – a symbol of love and strength, a scented beauty that in the summer everyone wishes they had more of.

If you grow roses – if you don’t make 2019 the year to start – one job to do, anytime between October and march, is to prune. Do not be scared.

Roses, such as shrub types, which are left unpruned can lose their shape and strong winds can rock the plant and leave the roots susceptible to damage, this is why the dormant months are ideal to get the plant in shape, ready for the growing season.

There are many opinions on the “best” way to prune and I think that makes people nervous. So here’s my way, it’s simple and it seems to work.

Look at the overall shape of the plant and reduce the size by about a half, remove any crossing branches that may rub. Cut just above a bud that’s pointing outwards – that’s where the new shoot will grow from.

Make sure the soil at the base of the plant is firm and add some manure or compost as a mulch…easy.

I don’t use pesticides in the nursery, so it’s a given that blackfly and aphids will appear, but they’re food for ladybirds and the birds and I’m always happy to feed them. If you get an infestation of aphids/blackfly just blast them off with the hose.

So, if there’s one plant to grow this year… make it a rose.

Posh Plants, Seven Acres Nursery, www.poshplants.com

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