Everything is coming up roses

rose

Start by removing spent blooms – the earlier you cut them off, the quicker the plant will produce new flowers. Follow the stem down to an outward-facing leaf that has five leaflets, and prune just above the bud. Angle the cut slightly, so that it sheds water away from the bud. Next, remove any canes that are growing toward the middle of the bush – it’s important to keep the centre open. Take out any dead or diseased material as well, along with suckers that shoot from below the graft. Follow up by giving the bush a deep watering once or twice a week (depending on the weather) and spread around a little rose food every week or so. For more insights into growing top class roses, check out the November issue where we go behind the scenes at Flemington Racecourse, to meet the man who prepares the magnificent roses that (along with the horses) stop the nation every year on Melbourne Cup day.