Am doing an early summer pruning of all my 20 plus roses – several of which are truly HUGE – now that the spring blossoming explosion is over.
‘Wrastled’ my huge white rose Pax for a few hours Saturday afternoon. Broke its support during our February rain & wind storms and tore away from the fence by the garden gate.
(An aside for rose lovers & gardeners, who may be reading this: The vigorous modern hybrid tea Pristine is featured above. Pax is a lovely hybrid musk rose, photo shown later in this article. )
What a job! Required almost more strength than I had. Employing some ingenuity using my u-hook umbrella handle, both feet, and both hands, I managed to get two strong trunks tied to the fence with some foam-covered wire. Have 2-3 more trunks still to do.
AND scratches galore! Looked like I had been in a serious cat squabble. The concern for gardeners is preventing infection. Soil pathogens that could cause tetanus and/or skin surface microbes that could start a staph infection are fairly common.
Once I was finished gardening for the afternoon, came in and washed off my arm with soap & water to clean the skin. (Learned from a good friend and university science major that microbes can’t survive on bars of soap. So, the common sense practice of washing your hands and wounds is an excellent habit.)
Then I applied several drops of ‘Melrose’, a Young Living Essential Oils blend made from
– Tea Tree EO (‘MEL’ for Melaluca alternifolia)
– Rosemary (‘ROSE’ for Rosmarinus officinalis)
– Clove & Niaouli essential oils. Dripped drops on the worst areas and rubbed gently over the scratches for a few seconds, until it vanished into my skin. (Essential oil molecules are extremely fine and absorbed easily through the skin penetrating every cell in your body within 20 minutes!)
I use Melrose for TWO reasons:
~ Melrose always prevents infection OR stops an infection ‘in its tracks’, if one has already started.
~ Melrose doesn’t sting an open wound. Important in a first-aid essential oil, especially if you need to treat kids’ ‘boo-boos’ and ‘owies.’
Do note that despite having ‘rose’ in its name, this blend has the strong medicinal smell of Tea Tree. NOT an aroma that makes one ‘wax poetic’ or would choose to wear as a perfume. That said, medicine that WORKS and doesn’t hurt or harm IS something to have in your first-aid kit & cabinet.
Yesterday, I tackled Devoniensis the enormous white climbing tea rose on the back fence. Was more of a diplomatic negotiation rather than a strong-armed brawl like Saturday’s effort. This rose is NOT one to battle with! I would be ravaged….
Devoniensis is the fiercest rose in my garden. Its thorns are huge, particularly prickly, and sharp! Even the stems & leaves have little prickles that stick the unwary gardener.
The new shoots grow straight up – quickly escaping into the trees, redwoods and all – if I don’t cajole them into winding their strands along the 40 foot sunny portion of our fence. It’s tricky timing the ‘relocation’ efforts. The new shoots have to be long enough to bend in a gentle curve, ‘hardened’ enough to not snap in two, yet flexible enough to manipulate…..VERY carefully, so not to get stabbed!
Here’ a photo of Pax’s ‘mild-mannered’ thorns for a visual comparison.
If you’re curious to see Devoniensis’ blooms, look here at the feature image ‘Pink Pucker’ at the top of the page and another bud profile against an olive green background near the middle of the page.
Those two roses are handled for the season for the most part. All the rest are easier to deal with. And if I get poked or scratched, then it’s Melrose to the rescue!