Your Town, April 11, 2010

There is a correct way to prune roses and it’s certainly not the way I do it.

When my young sons were in needed of a haircut, I’d gather up the do-it-yourself clipper set, drape the intended victim with the salon-style nylon cape and prop him on a booster seat in a chair.

The 8-year-old child would distract himself from the task at hand by concentrating on skillfully guiding Mario through the castle in pursuit of the princess. I would casually turn up the volume on the TV, so they couldn’t hear my occasional “oops.”

Each session allowed me to practice my haircutting skills, which improved very little over time. After several consecutive years of school photos in which the boys sported uneven bowl cuts, I realized it was time to move on to something else I could manage — a buzz cut.

My haircutting skills came into play this year as I abruptly decided that the rose bushes needed a trim. The overgrown monster roses had taken over the arbor and were desperately in need of grooming. I prepared my barber tools and began snipping at bits and pieces here and there.

Getting nowhere quickly, I moved on to the more productive hand pruners and massive loppers, stopping short of grabbing a machete to finish the job.

I wore long sleeves but still ended up looking as if I’d lost a fight with an alley cat. The thorns were especially fond of my nylon sweat pants — clinging and snagging like a telemarketer, unwilling to take no for an answer.

And when my husband arrived home and asked what on earth happened to the rose bush, I used the assuring phrase I offered the boys after a home haircut.

“Don’t worry, it will look better when it grows out.”

# # #

Not only can you stop and smell the roses, you can prune them too — with the pros.

Grand Valley Rose Society will have a rose pruning training and demonstration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Apr. 17) at the rose gardens in front of Western Colorado Botanical Gardens, 641 Struthers Ave.

About 60 roses bushes at the Botanical Gardens are maintained by the society, and the public is invited to practice on these roses before tackling their own at home. The hands-on training from skilled “rosarians” will include the opportunity to learn about cleaning and sharpening rose pruning tools as well as the tricks to safe and healthy rose pruning.

Those planning to attend should take bypass (scissor) type pruners (no anvil pruners), and loppers, gloves, hats, water, kneepads, DEET spray or wipes and a bottle of white glue or colored nail polish.

Long sleeves are advised and wear clothing that can take dirt and thorns.

The press release regarding the demonstration and training has an important warning: “Rose pruning inevitably involves bleeding. If you have not had a tetanus shot in the last ten years, consider getting one before you tackle any rose pruning and exposing wounds to the pathogens in dirt.”

The Grand Valley Rose Society will provide Band-Aids and Neosporine ointment. Have fun.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a confidential support group that is open to anyone who has a gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender family member or friend.

The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Congregational Church, 1425 N. Fifth St.

For more information, call Donna at 245-9469.

# # #

Let someone else do the cooking on April 21 and help Strong Families, Safe Kids while dining at select restaurants.

A percentage of food proceeds from participating restaurants during the third annual Dine Out for Kids will be donated to the organization, which helps parents build healthy relationships with their children through outreach, education and support.

So far, participating restaurants include A Taste of Heaven (Elks Lodge), Feedlot in Fruita, Il Bistro Italiano, Kannah Creek Brewing Co., Main Street Bagels, No Coast Sushi, Pablos’ Pizza in Fruita, and Smuggler’s Brew Pub.

Also, The Ale House, Gala Cafe and Coffee Shop, Inari’s in Palisade, La Rouge, Munchies, Old Chicago and Red Canyon Grille at Redlands Mesa.

Call 254-8240 for more information.


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