“Common sense is the key,” says White, “Start by removing dead and damaged canes, and then any that help shape the bush.” Pruning back these branches helps the shrubs from becoming congested and overgrown, a situation that invites disease. Timing is important. Old Garden Roses and species should be pruned after they have flowered (as they bloom on old wood), while modern roses bloom on new wood and should therefore be pruned early in the year.
4. Use good equipment
White uses Bahco-Pradines pruners, shears and loppers throughout the garden. They have bright orange handles—easily spotted by gardeners who, occasionally, misplace their tools. They are very sturdy and the secateurs are ergonomically designed. White uses goatskin gloves from Jackson and Perkins.
5. Join a local rose society
When White first started growing roses, he joined a local rose society and found it to be an invaluable resource. Rose societies have consulting rosarians who are more than happy to offer any budding rose grower advice and planting suggestions. In fact, many will make house calls!