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I will be starting building work around the house which will entail putting up saffolding and taking off the cememt render and putting up lime based render. The work will start in October and I have been taking out as many plants and saving them in a nursery bed but I do have a large number of climbing plants, roses, clematis, wisteria etc that I would hate to lose. I had thought about pruning them very hard but wonder if this is the best course of action. Has anyone got any tips for me. By the way the work will probably take a year but hopefully scaffolding will only be up about 6 months. Thanks



The pruning of rose bushes can be confusing, especially when you start talking about hybrid teas, old garden roses, shrub roses, once-blooming roses, and English roses. This confusion leads to doubt and improper pruning or no pruning.

The class of rose and the time of year it blooms influence the type and amount of pruning. General pruning principles apply to all roses, but there are differences between classes. The closer one gets to species roses the less severe the pruning. Hybrid teas have the distinction of requiring the most severe pruning for optimum bloom and plant health.

Because of the variety of rose types available, one may need to have an understanding of how the rose flowers. Pruning should also be looked at as applying a few common sense principles to accomplish several tasks. These tasks are to remove dead, damaged, or diseased wood; increase air circulation; keep the shrub from becoming a tangled mess; shape the plant; and encourage the growth of flowering wood.

The majority of pruning is done in the spring. Many rose growers suggest waiting until the forsythias start to bloom as a good signal for the pruning season to begin.

10 Jun, 2008


The roses could be cut back hard - they will shoot again in the spring, ready for you to feed them and tie in the new growth as horizontally as possible. The Clematis is difficult, as it depends on which pruning group each plant belongs to. I reckon you might get away with cutting the plants back enough to put up the scaffolding, then watch out for the new growth in the spring. Some of them may not flower next year, e.g. montanas. Again, you will need to feed them in the spring. I think that if you could release the Wisteria from its wires, you might be able to lean it away from the wall on some sort of support during the work on your house, then pull it back up again. You will know when it has to be pruned, and may be able to save it. I hope all this helps. Good luck with it!

10 Jun, 2008


I have several years of experience with home renovations, and have found that the workers do more damage to plants than their equipment and materials..... While old render is removed it may simply be dropped on plants. I have used large plastic bins over smaller plants, and large outdoor trashcans over larger plants. Be sure to remove as soon as possible. The best "save the landscape" trick I use is bribery. Brownies, chocolate cake, cookies etc. on a regular basis help build rapport with workers. That gives you the opportunity to ask them to take extra care, and let you know which areas need protecting each day. Bright orange spray paint around plants has helped. If you can use tarpaulin over plants, weight it down with bricks. Removing protection and replacing it each morning is a hassle, but you will be able to proudly say "My garden survived home renovation." Best of luck!

13 Jun, 2008

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