Many people ask … “What do you do with all those roses in the fall?” Really not much … I tend to keep it simple. There are other chores that get a lot more of our attention in the fall than the roses. Like leaves! We have a lot of trees and so there are a lot of leaves. Mr. G has that process well in hand — with power tools like his leaf blower and tractor.
As far as the rose companions are concerned, I don’t cut back my upright perennials and annuals until the spring–I love the winter interest they provide especially when the snow falls on the different plant shapes. For those that are low and spreading, I do remove them as they can become a host to undesirables.
Now for “all those roses.” Many of my roses are known to be winter hardy because I know that it is very likely that we will have a harsh winter and I would advise you make decisions on the roses you buy based on your weather conditions throughout the year not just your spring and summer.
- I will clean up the beds of diseased leaves and debris and add mulch were needed.
- I will take those in pots into the garage to protect from the winter. They don’t require much, just a drink of water every few weeks.
- I will provide a heavy layer of much for a few of the particularly tender roses or sentimental favorites that I would hate to lose by adding 4-5″ of extra mulch.
- I will trim or tie up the long canes of the climbers once we have had 2 hard freezes and the danger of their growing has passed. Today as I came up the driveway, I noticed that Zepherine Drouhin has had a growth spurt and is throwing out arching canes from around her trellis. So, she is going to be tied up!
- I will also cut back any of the roses that are extra tall to about waist high to keep them from flapping in the winter winds.
For the rest of the roses, they are on their own. Most can take it, but I know that if we have a winter like we had last year, I will lose a few and it is to be expected. But, you know what that means, once I get over the emotion of the loss, I will celebrate the extra space for the new 2015 introductions. Even though I sound tough, I have to tell you I still grieve a bit over the loss of my huge 15-year old New Dawn last spring. I may never fully recover from that one. Remember that story?? If you didn’t see the pictures of the Now You See It, Now You Don’t article, you can take a look here. Yes, that loss just about did me in. It took the bloom season of my rugosas to get me through it! And what a season they had. My rugosas just smiled in the face of the Polar Vortex. That’s just the way they are. Bless their hearts! xo
Have a wonderful week and happy…