A Cut Above

I still get a nervous twinge in my stomach every time I start pruning the roses. It's really an easy process and there is little real damage that can be done but it still catches my breath to see the tall roses reduced to main stems.
I was able to squeeze about thirty minutes of pruning the roses on the south side this afternoon and filled the wheelbarrow full of cuttings. My basic goal is to shape and direct this year's growth. Sometimes I cut back drastically because the main stem is still too thin to support more branches. Other times I just cut off the dead heads left from last year.
No matter what though, all I have to do is remember that first summer when our well intentioned neighbor had lopped all the roses about six inches off the ground. It's taken a few years but they even recovered from that severe pruning.