I have read that one is supposed to prune in late winter, before new growth appears. Well, what if new growth appears before late winter? If I don’t prune, then the plant puts all this work into growth that I will then come along later and cut off. So, if I prune now, then it can work on producing the growth it gets to keep. That makes sense, right? My pruning isn’t causing it to start the new growth; it has already started it on its own. I guess it might be argued that somehow the growth I just loped off could protect the plant for the rest of the winter. Maybe. But if it needs to be protected still, then why is it putting out tender new growth? This was so much easier in California.
(Can you actually see the rose in this mess? Ah, the reality of gardening. Definitely not a magazine picture!)
I did prune it. And I will just have to see what happens. After I finished pruning, I tucked non-rose leaves back around it and tugged some of the catmint back over it to maybe add to its protection and covered it for the night as it is still dipping below freezing for a couple of more nights. I wonder if the catmint might help deter the mites that carry rose rosette disease.
Of course, this rose may already have rose rosette disease, since it grows fairly close to where Madame Alfred Carriere grew. She had rose rosette disease and had to be taken out and burnt. As a precaution, I am burning what I pruned from Ballerina. And disinfecting the pruners.
I’ll keep watching it as the new growth comes along, checking for signs of the disease. I sure hope it doesn’t have it, but I realize that the odds are pretty good that it will have it. So sad.
I discovered something else as I worked around my rose. New shoots of chives are starting! They smelled SO good! Well, in an oniony, chivey sort of way. Which is good in my book.
Have a beautiful day!