Au­tumn lawn care

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I have a fan­tas­tic ram­bling rose which grows be­tween me and my neigh­bour. It’s an old-fash­ioned but­ton-hole type that has flow­ered well ev­ery year for as long as I re­mem­ber. How­ever, by last year, it had got a bit out of con­trol and flow­ered mostly near the top, so I guessed it was time to re­shape and re­fresh the shrub.

In the spring, be­fore the rose started into growth, my neigh­bour and I, with the help of some lop­pers and se­ca­teurs, re­moved all of the old­est stems, open­ing up the cen­tre of the shrub. We had to be ruth­less and re­moved lots of growth. We then tied in newer stems to the fence, re­duc­ing their length to a man­age­able size, which in­stantly trans­formed our ram­bling rose. At the time, I gave it a mulch of three bags of the horse ma­nure-based soil im­prover, GEE-UP. The rambler romped away this sum­mer, with lots of beau­ti­ful flow­ers. As we go into win­ter, I plan to not let it get so out of con­trol and will do a much lighter prun­ing early next spring.

Brian Parker, Terenure, Dublin 6

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