Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Wonder of Roses & The Art of Pegging

Is this specimen incredible or what? She is Evelyn (a David Austin rose). I really could just stop right there, but I won't. I need to tell you something really important about her. Because I like to share beautiful things. The way I see it, the vegetables in my garden feed my body, but the roses... feed my spirit! 
 
You see how she grows along the fence, cascading along  like it's so easy and breezy? Well it is. But, that's because her long flexible canes have been trained or pegged. Since it's pruning time I thought I'd show you how Evelyn looks this time of year, all bare and showing off her strong, elegant eight foot canes. Many of the David Austin roses can be left either as a shrub rose or grown as a climbing rose. If you decide to train your rose against a wall, trellis or fence, be sure to let some of the canes grow long from the base of the plant. This is where the magic begins!
Let's go back to the beginning. The photo below is the rose bush before I have finished pruning. I start at the base and go work my way up. I thin out all of the spindly, dead and damaged wood. I also take out any of the crossing canes and thin out some of the growth where it's getting too thick. As I work through the rose bush, I pull off all of the old leaves, or most of them! Consider it a form of meditation...


Here, you can see what a vigorous grower Evelyn can be. If you let her or any climber go without pruning, you will end up with a tangled mess! In this photo you can see that more thinning is needed. The next two photos show the rose bush after pruning and thinning. The pegging or tying is also finished.  
When you get down to the canes that are in the right place for pegging, grab the end and form a lovely arch. Your arch can go back down to the ground, almost in a circle or you can form a more gentle arch. If you'd like to cover a wall you might train the canes in a more horizontal position. Secure the end of canes to the fence, trellis or post.  Weave the canes into one another or "peg" on it's own with twine or plant ties.  
As the weather warms, and the rose begins to come to life, you can see the magic in this method. Look at all of the little reddish leaves along the arched canes. This is the new growth, every bud eye at every leaf node along the arched canes can produce a stem and a flower! That means that roses will form all along the arches instead of a single rose at the end of a regular vertical cane! That's a lot of roses! 
Above, the rosebuds all lined up ready to bloom!
                                                                            Beauty in a basket.

For more info.on pegging, here's a fantastic video of Paul Zimmerman sharing a little knowledge!


We've linked up with The Prairie Homestead here!

17 comments:

Clint Baker said...

Your garden is wonderful! My wife loves those Roses, so you know what I will be planting soon!

ann said...

I absolutely love your David Austin. I have one growing here, Gertude Jeckle. (may not be spelling correctly). They are very hard to find here, but I think we have found nursery that sells them. Your garden is lovely, has that mature, full look that I am trying to create here.

Rob said...

That looks a very nice rose and you've done a good job of training it. I can't wait for things to start kicking off in the garden.

HolleyGarden said...

What a gorgeous rose! I love the way you've pruned her. I have a getting-too-tall Heritage. I think I'll give this a try.

Mona said...

Jill..

thank you for this post. I really enjoyed seeing your beautiful roses..and then I watched some of the videos you linked to. now, I have a little more confidence to tackle my out of control climbing roses...hoping for roses as pretty as yours this year...

Mona

africanaussie said...

Those roses look so beautiful - like a cup of soft, soft petals....... great instructions on how to prune and peg roses, and a lovely idea to show all the stages.

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Clint Baker said...

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Landbohaven said...

Jeg kom bare lige forbi.
Gode billeder.
Tak for kigget.

Joanne said...

I miss roses. On my Grandmother's farm she had many many types and it was like something out of a story book!
Blessings, Joanne

Beth said...

These are just so pretty! One of my favorite kinds of roses!

I would like to grow roses, but I'm leery since we have so much shade and I have a lot of problems with diseases on my of my other plants that I hate to think I might kill such a pretty flower. We live in the middle of the woods, so do you have any tips that might help?

Sweet Life Garden said...

Thank you friends for all of your lovely comments! Beth, you do need to have at least six hours of sun a day, otherwise you will have no blooms. The woods sounds beautiful though!

Sunday Taylor said...

I love this post! First, your images of the roses are breathtaking. And second, your instructions are very clear and the photos help so much. I now understand how this is done. Thank you!

robyn said...

love yr photos.. especially the roses in a bucket : )

Snooks said...

Beautiful. Not just the pictures of the flowers but your whole garden. Something I need to work towards. I love your Evelyn. She is stunning. So many wonderful ideas.

Teresa @Seasonal Wisdom said...

This is an excellent post on pruning roses. That 'Evelyn' is gorgeous, especially the way it falls over your fence. Thanks for sharing. Teresa O'Connor

Kyndle said...

I have to know, how old is that rose bush. Do you remember when you planted. I want to have some healthy expectations;) If possible:) Just beautiful!