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Life can mess up the best laid plans. Only 17 roses pruned today - now 102 completed (~49%) and 107 remaining, all in the South Garden.

It's amazing to me how leaves embed themselves intricately into the canes and prickles. It can take me over 5 minutes to remove all the leaves from a bush so that I'm not flying blind when attempting to prune it. Really extends how quickly a bush can be pruned.
Potted up the 4 J&P Roses early this morning - used 100% Scotts Miracle Gro potting mix. Went without a hitch.

Busy day pruning for me - another 25 completed so 85 are done with 124 remaining (~ 41% done). Decent weather expected Saturday and Sunday so hope to have it all done by Monday. Very windy today - no sooner than I have removed all the tree leaves caught in the canes at the base of the plant the wind would blow more leaves in. Seemed like I was fighting an uphill battle with that most of the day.

Most bushes/canes have 4 to 6 inches of additional dieback from when I did the rough pruning on February 23. That's as expected. The good white pith was usually found between 3 and 4 bud eyes downward from the dieback point. Except for one of my best performers that is, namely Apricot Candy. At the rough pruning there was almost no dieback at all on Apricot Candy. It is own root and today there was considerable dieback on every cane, sometimes as much as 12 or 14 inches down from the rough prune. I have no explanation for that - no other bush had as much dieback.

Some of the canes on my 5 Screaming Neon bushes are just huge. The biggest had to be a full 2 inches in diameter and very woody. I used the loppers to remove the monster. I am happy i purchased those loppers - makes it really easy.
3 days ago
My 4-rose J&P order arrived yesterday afternoon while I was pruning. I opened the box, checked the roses and they were wrapped in a big plastic bag with (paper) grocery bag-type wetted paper. This setup seemed to retain moisture well. I poured in a little more water over the paper and closed it up to sit overnight in the garage. First thing this morning I prepared the plants for soaking in water - inspected the roots and pruned all the roots slightly - and also pruned the canes down looking for an outward-facing bud-eye. I'll let them soak for about 10 hours, and then pot them into 5-gallon plastic nursery pots. I love this type of planting as it's so easy compared to planting in the garden. These 4 bushes do not yet have a garden spot reserved so in effect these represent my "bullpen." They will be available to replace anything that needs replacing (i.e., doesn't grow well this year) and if that does not happen, they will over-winter in the unheated garage. I did this two years ago with 2 Ring of Fire bushes on Dr. Huey and then planted them in the garden in late May last year. They grew like gangbusters last year and have come through winter strong.

The new roses from J&P - Simply Magnificent, Elegant Lady, Soft Whisper and April Moon - all look good. Green canes, not too much white growth pushing out, and very good root systems. There were very few broken roots. I am very happy with the condition of these new roses and I give J&P a solid 'A' for this order. Now, let's hope (pray) that they are true to the variety named on the tags as J&P has let me down 3 times previously in the past 4 years with a mis-labeled rose.

Pruning update: completed 18 more bushes today. Now I have 149 to go - I'm not quite 30% done. I went out at 3:30 pm to do more but Mother Nature intervened and brought some rain to the party.
3 days ago
19 more pruned today - 167 to go.
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