This week I’ve been deadheading roses. Here in London, the first flush of flowers is coming to an end, and now’s the time to be decisive and take out the whole truss to an outward-facing leaf node.
I quite often use this time as an opportunity to reshape the shrub a bit, too, particularly with varieties that put on a lot of growth in one season.
One of these, and one of my favourites, is ‘Lady of Shallot’, a unusual pale sunset orange, very free flowering and fragrant, but it is pretty vigourous and shoots off in all directions, so it benefits from a bit of taming by deadheading by half a metre or so.
A feed with a high potash fertiliser (tomato feed will do just as well as specialist rose food) and water after doing this alleviates shock to the plant, which pays you back with banks of flowers later in the season.