December is still a good month to plant bare root roses as long a the ground is not frozen or water- logged. Good soil preparation is key to producing healthy and productive plants in the future so add plenty of well- rotted manure, garden compost or soil conditioner prior to planting.
If you have existing roses clear up any fallen leaves to prevent the spread of fungal spores during the coming season. It is also worth picking off any diseased leaves that haven’t dropped yet. Bin these leaves do not put on your compost heap. Some initial pruning of shrub and tall bush roses can be undertaken. Cut out any dead, diseased or damaged wood then trim back any really long stems to prevent wind rock. Check over climbing roses to make sure they are tied to their supports well. Tie in any new long shoots that might get damaged in the wind.
We are now selling Gold Leaf gloves which we have been using on the nursery for several years. These really are the Rolls Royce of gardening gloves: hard- wearing and thorn-proof yet comfortable and flexible. So if you are looking for an extra special gift for someone (or even yourself) these are a great idea.