Dead-heading the roses: better than bubble-wrap … or cannabis

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© Getty Images

Over the late summer, a fresh evening-stroll-route took me through a park with four formally-spaced, voluptuous rose beds: perhaps 20′ x 10′ in size with mebbie thirty tall bushes in each?

One of the many glories of roses is that by dead-heading them – snapping off the old bloom – another will be generated. The reward is a greatly extended season.

At the centre of these beds, separated by crossed paths, is a small fountain whose pool has been filled in with bedding plants. A fortnight or so after I’d begun the dead-heading, a couple of fierce muts along with their drug-dealing friends took to congregating there.

I’m far too lazy to go looking for trouble but if accosted by it, award it fairly short shrift. The dogs came a-snarling and backed away on being told off in Swedish for being so rude. That was followed by their owner, a spaced-out and emaciated skin-head, who shouted over at me. 

It was impossible to decipher what he said, so he was asked to repeat it in a manner one might understand. “Whaaaaaa youuuuuuuu killing vem flaaaaaarz?”

© RHS

Thrilled to pass on the lush joy implicit to dead-heading, I extolled its virtues in some considerable detail.

The dogs did not approach on subsequent occasions, nor did the group continue to gather for much longer at that spot.

not just that, snapping the stem below the head feels even more satisfying than popping bubble-wrap.

☆☆ you may be assured I let the dreamy irony of life-extension amid life-curtailment waft into their plumes of wearisome smoke with suasive determination.