Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland




Get on with the pruning

RAMBLING roses which only flower once, such as Rosa Albertine, can be pruned and trained now.

The easiest way to prune a rambling rose is to untie the rose from its climbing structure. Remove all diseased, damaged weak growths, also remove all old flowering steams back to ground level.

Select the healthy new growths and tie them back to the climbing structure.

Viticella Clematis that you may have growing through climbing roses may also be cut back now.

As you prune and retrain climbing plants, repair any obvious damage to pergolas, posts, fences and training wires. These must be strong enough to carry the full weight of your plants and the blast from high wind and heavy rain.

Take full advantage of any fair days. The clean up around the garden should be in full swing, collecting leaves, pruning roses and carry out urgent structural repairs.

Autumn is nature's time for planting, so you can plant up any vacant areas in the borders with shrubs, herbaceous plants or spring bulbs.

Trees, if planted now and staked well, will have time to settle before the winter and will be ready for an early start in spring.

Prepare ground now for planting bare root roses in December or January. This will allow the frost, wind and rain to reduce the rough surface of the turned sod to a good workable texture by planting time.

A lot of garden roses produce rose hips and when left pruned they can make elegant displays in the mixed border. The summer bloom roses carry are dramatic enough but in November the large red hips contrast with the sharp yellow autumn tints of Rosa Rugosa, making a most spectacular display.