Time to Cut the Roses

Horticulture books recommend cutting your climbing rose at the nadir of wintertime, when things are dormant. It’s often hard to identify the coldest time of winter. You can leave it to chance or you can look to the Farmer’s Almanac for guidance.

In Rehoboth, I prefer to wait for the shattering of the tonic bottles on Tim Spies’ back porch. The glass bottles are always the first to go, followed by the cans of soda. When Tim’s back porch is full of shrapnel — shards of glass and jagged fragments of aluminum cans — and the contents of the bottles and cans are spread in frozen lumps across the floor, then you know should cut your roses on the next sunny day.