| Follow these simple guidelines for modern rose bushes;|
1. Prune when plants are dormant, between autumn leaf-fall and when the buds are beginning to break in spring.
2. First cut out all dead, diseased or damaged stems. Cut back to live green tissue inside the stems, removing all brown material.
3. Next remove any shoots that are thinner than your little finger, or any shoots that are rubbing. These will be too weak to produce any flowers.
4. Now you have strong, healthy stems left, cut all of them back by a third of their length, down to an outward facing bud, about 12 inches above soil level.
5. Also, keep the plants uncongested in the centre as this lets light and air into the rose discouraging disease.
For old garden roses, species roses, climbing roses and ramblers, the basic principles still apply. For more detailed pruning tips try visiting www.rosebuddies.com, or mail order from www.davidaustinroses.com
Watch those thorns,