By Judy Paniccea
In Connecticut we have four defined seasons, dividing each almost equally into three
months. We plant roses deep into the ground in the spring “when the forsythia blooms”.
With the warming temperatures, we have our first flush of blooms in June, hopefully just
in time for our CT Rose Show. Mid-summer brings our second blooms. The
temperature typically climbs in August when the roses begin to wilt from the heat. When
it starts to cool down in mid-September we can have a third flush of blooms though they
are not as vigorous. By the end of November we have pruned our rose bushes for the
winter rest ahead.
Southwest, Connecticut, as in the rest of Connecticut, is considered a temperate climate
of Zone 6a. Though in the rolling hills the temperatures can dip to Zone 5b. Living
where I do next to a lake we get strong winter winds from the Northwest. I prune my
roses down to 2-3 feet and take off most of the foliage to lessen the effect of wind on the
roses. Smaller roses and those planted in the spring get an extra mound of compost
around the base to lessen the damage caused by winter’s freezing and thawing.