Cleanup: chop a couple roses and more

I noticed that the two 'Home Run' roses on the South side of the house are really growing actively, and it's time to chop them back a little (or a lot). Here's the first one:


It's about 5' tall, which is bigger than I want. I'll take it back about 1/2 way, to 2'-3' tall.



As you can see from the not-too-great photo above, it's kind of a tangle. Usually I can see the obvious places to cut, but look at this:

I mean, where do you start? Well, my approach is to start taking some off, then move down a bit, taking more. In areas that are really congested, I take a full cane out. Pretty soon things start making sense and before you know it, the job is looking manageable:


Ok, it's hard to tell if that's a shot of exactly the same part of the plant, but you get the idea.

Much chopping later, I've got a pruned rose and a full bin:



Disclaimer: As I've said before, I'm no rose pruning expert. My methods seem to work well for the rose varieties I grow -- I'm sure there are rosarians reading this who are laughing (or crying) at my pruning attempts.

After the first couple of roses which I pruned earlier, I remembered that it's better to chop the stems up pretty small. That way I can easily drop them in to the chipper's hopper and that makes getting rid of them much easier. Easy is good. I like easy. Here's somebody who likes to "take it easy" while I'm trying not to get thorned too badly:


(I'm glad Super-Whitey decided that a nap was a better idea than rubbing against the legs of somebody who was dropping really sharp and thorny sticks all over the place. She was really getting in the way and making me nervous! By the way, maybe that will be me someday: taking a nap in the garden while somebody I trust maintains it for me. Yeah, right.)

On to the next 'Home Run' rose, which isn't nearly as tall, but still needs to be controlled a bit. Yes, it's blocking the gas meter a bit, but it has an electronic monitor on it so it's read remotely -- no human needs to access it. The thing you can't see in this photo is there's a water spigot back there. Not too easy to access later in the season.


There we go, hacked down to size. Water spigot revealed:


This one doesn't grow as much as the others, probably because this is a tough area of my yard. It's on a slope, compacted clay soil, full Southern exposure, and there is a Sugar Maple nearby whose roots suck all of the moisture and nutrients from the ground. This rose does quite well, but doesn't reach the size of the other two of the same type.

Taking another look at the bed right next to the first rose I pruned today, it's time to clean this up. The daylilies are coming on strong, and I should clean them up a bit so the deer can enjoy looking at them while they eat them.


A few grasses to trim, more vinca vines (which I really let get out of hand over here -- there are plenty of newly-rooted vinca plants I'll have to dig out sometime), and some Russian sage. If you grow Russian sage you know what a strong scent it has. I really like it, but I'm guessing that deer do not, so I'm going to try cutting some pieces of sage stem and putting them in the daylilies. Perhaps that will deter the deer for a little while, although I can see they've been munching them already.


There's the finished bed. As usual it's not perfect, but it's good enough for now. There are a lot of weeds in that bed, mostly violets. Sigh.


How long did it take?  about 1:00
Total time spent on clean-up so far this year: 12:30 (12 hours 30 minutes)

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