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Monday, January 11, 2010

The Sleeping Beauty Rose



I was out pruning the roses on the weekend, as is the custom during the football season, doing battle with the giant climber that grows on an arch by our front path. I call this rose "The Sleeping Beauty Rose" because it grows to mammoth proportions engulfing not only the arch but much of the front yard. It has some pretty scary thorns too. So each January, and sometimes during the year too, I pull on my leather gloves that come up to my elbows and go in armed with some long handled loppers. It is a job that requires 2 huge green waste bins and usually a few bandaids.

My daughter, Carolyn, cracked me up one day when we drove up to the house and I remarked that this huge climber reminded me of the rose that surrounded Sleeping Beauty's Castle. Carolyn piped up saying that that was good because Sleeping Beauty lives here. She had just been in a play where she had played Sleeping Beauty ( a good part as it involved lying motionless for most of the play- perfect for a teenager!).

From then on this climbing rose, which is actually 'Mermaid', has been known around the house as the sleeping beauty rose. Pictured here after its winter pruning.

All of this is a reminder to prune the roses this month. Hopefully yours will be a piece of cake compared to this one! Also it is a good idea to remove all the leaves in addition to the pruning.

Rust spores and fungus' can overwinter on the back of the leaves so removing the leaves and raking up under the plants helps to avoid diseases next year.

Enjoy the winter chill and the sounds of cheering football fans as you clip and rake!

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