In Australia, there's a rule: prune in June. Your roses that is.
I was walking around the 'burbs of Seattle - you know... getting to know the place... it's nice - and noticed that these Seattelite people don't really take care of their roses. I thought for a second I could get a bit of dosh on the side by selling my pruning services. The only capital outlay would be a good pair of secateurs and some gloves.
I popped over to nice American lady's, who also lives in the Capitol Hill area where I am, and noticed that she and her roomies have also neglected their rose bushes. Hips all over the place! What could I do but offer to indulge my own pruning needs?
It gives me a great deal of pleasure to prune roses... to examine the bush, work out the current shape, and think through what it may be transformed into after a few snips here and there. I must admit, these particular bushes were in need of a fairly radical new hairstyle, so I did prune heavily... but roses are generally as hardy as hell, so I don't doubt they will spring back.
The exercise also made me remember my grandpa, who taught me how to prune. He always had beautiful roses growing, often cut and inside the house too. I also thought about my former home in the Adelaide Hills, where there were about 25 rose bushes of various sizes and colours. It took me a weekend in June to prune all of those puppies...
Who knows if it's OK to prune in January, or whether the bushes will enjoy their cut... Perhaps it was more for me than them. I didn't quite get to all of them today either, so I will need to return to finish the job.
I'm an Australian designer who specialises in digital and cultural work. Most of my career thus far has been on the web, but I'm excited that it's starting to creep out into the real world.
I am the founder of Museum in a Box, making interactive museum objects with simple, fun tech, for wide-as-possible distribution, and I own a company called Good, Form & Spectacle, making design in service to cultural heritage for clients like The British Museum, MoMA, and the Wellcome Trust.
Please visit my LinkedIn profile to find out more about my work.