Jane Eyre, separated from Mr. Rochester on Valentine’s Day, may not be having any champagne over ice this Feb. 14th. But she can have roses over ice!
Thanks to tips she learned from her gardener at Thornfield Hall, Jane knows how to keep roses alive over the winter:
- Know which variations to grow–old garden roses, such as China, Moss and Damask, rather than hybrid tea roses, are much hardier and stand a greater chance of making it through.
- Put your roses in a coma: roses that are completely frozen all the way through will probably live; but if they freeze, thaw, freeze again they won’t make it.
- Don’t prune–wait to remove any dead or diseased canes til springtime.
- Build a compost or soil heap around your rose bushes, up to 12 inches high. Make sure the soil is well drained–just like you wouldn’t want to go out in a snowstorm with a wet head, wet and cold are damaging to your flowers. After the mound has frozen, cover it with straw or evergreen boughs to add more insulation.
With luck, and prudence, you will see your petaled friends bloom again.
And always remember: “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”