O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.
So said Rabbie Burns, Scotland's esteemed national poet. And though the great man may be known more for whisky, haggis and writing odes to wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beasties, his horticultural knowledge hit the spot here as well: June is, to many gardeners, the 'Rose Month'.
Will Shakespeare -- the bard south o' the border, if you like -- pointed out that 'rough winds do shake the darling buds of May'...and again, he had a point. It may not have felt like spring this glorious past week (even though it certainly has this morning!), but traditionally it's in June when the weather becomes clement enough for your roses to come to life. Not for nothing is the rose the 'birth flower' for the month of June. In warmer countries you might even be seeing your second flowering of the year now, but for those of us here in the winter countries this is time for the first blooming of the year.
So now that I've filled your head with more poetry and trivia than you knew you wanted, what are the best tips for getting those red, red roses springing this June?
Prune! Summer pruning helps your roses to grow strongly and to produce the next round of flowers. This pruning should help ensure that the new stems and flowers will be healthy, colourful and gorgeous.
Check your roses for mildew, aphid, black-spot and other common roseate issues, including insect infestations. Aphids can be treated by spraying with soapy water. To treat black-spot, don't water from directly overhead, and try to throw away all the pruned clippings.
Keep 'em fed! Make sure to fertilize your roses monthly all through the summer, and you should reap the rewards in the form of big, beautiful blooms.
Following these tips should help you to get your garden looking gorgeous this June. Summer may seem short -- how did it go Will? Ah yes. 'Summers lease hath all too short a date' -- but a rose garden in full bloom is one of those unique summer spectacles that will help you to treasure every moment.
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