Page 28 - Forest Row Local March Edition
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28 March 2021 • Forest Row Local Rose Pruning - No Pain, No Gain
“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, (The Little Prince)
The rose, with its tender and beautiful flowers, but surrounded by sharp, harsh thorns appears in accounts from all of the world’s major cultures and religions as
a symbol of love at work in the world. In ancient mythology, roses symbolised eternal love in stories of how gods interacted with each other and human beings; in the Celtic/Druidic tradition roses are used as decorations to represent the heart. Muslims view roses
as symbols of the human soul: smelling the scent reminds them of their spirituality whilst Hindus and Buddhists see roses as expressions of inner joy. Stories about roses often involve an inner spiritual journey - the Prince in Sleeping Beauty has to cut through a forest of thorns to get to the palace; the songbird in Oscar Wilde’s story “the Nightingale and the Rose” makes a sacrificial journey for a young man by singing love into a white rose, turning the rose red whilst impaled dying upon the thorns; Christ’s
final journey to the cross involves a crown of thorns.
So, a very special plant and quite rightly loved by us all; however
the variety of species and pruning techniques can be bewildering,
and learning to understand and carry out these processes can be an inner journey in itself, sometimes complicated and sometimes painful, but one well worth taking. Roses can be divided into 3 broad categories and each requires different pruning techniques, the
main types are shrub roses, bush roses, and climbers/ramblers. Because the rose has had centuries of breeding there are many variations within these three broad categories: there will be specific requirements for each sub-division which can’t be covered in this short article. There are, however, many websites that do go into this detail, additionally we are blessed with a wonderful rose nursery at nearby Wych Cross, with very knowledgeable staff who I am sure would be very happy to offer advice.
Shrub roses
This category comprises most of the older varieties that existed before large flowered bush roses or hybrid teas (see below) were introduced in the late 19th century. Most have simple flowers, and almost all flower
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