Well what I am thinking is that if Michael O’Leary were a flower he would be a rose. Ray D’Arcy would be a dahlia. Barak Obama is privet hedging.
But back to Michael O’Leary he was the first person that came to mind while I was working on some roses last week. I was thinking how roses just want regular, scheduled attention, the kind of attention doesn’t really matter and next thing I know Michael O’Leary pops into my head.
I feel if you take the Michael O’Leary approach you will find taking care of your roses to be much simpler. I mean how many times have we heard Mr O’Leary say something along the lines of “any press is good press”? A lot because that appears to be his main motto. He doesn’t care if its good bad or indifferent as long as he is in the press. So this is how you should think about your roses. They just need some sort of attention, it doesn’t really matter what kind. There are all sorts of rules that go along with roses like: prune them back to the first five-leaved branch and only prune them hard in autumn and use rose fertilizer, they don’t like transplanting, tie them horizontally for more blooms, blah blah blah.
Well, I have watched roses be run over with a lawnmower in Fitzgerald Park and still grow back to 8 feet tall. I have seen a rose pulled out of the ground in July, on the hottest day of the year, shoved back into the ground with no thought or concern for watering and come back just as nicely. I have seen roses tied any which way and still covered in blooms
The only rule that I have seen to be important is Keep a Schedule: a Schedule of Attention. It doesn’t matter how you prune, just prune. It doesn’t matter so much the fertilizer just do it on a schedule.
So with that said my conclusion is that, much like Michael O’Leary and his main motto, the quality of attention given your roses is irrelevant just make sure it all runs on scehdule.
6 tips ‘a la’ Ryanair for taking care of your roses:
1. Give them attention – As I said, any sort of attention will do. Prune them by the rules or run them over with a lawnmower it doesn’t seem to make a whole load of difference
2. Keep on a schedule – Regular pruning and regular fertilizing are the key. I prune hard in Spring and Autumn and deadhead in the summer (although sometimes I just enjoy cutting them back pretty hard in the summer as well so don’t worry too much if you get caught up in the moment). Fertilize in March, May and July and keep that schedule forever more.
3.Treat them mean (pruning that is) – Take no prisoners. Much the same way those stewardesses who are checking your luggage size at the gate take absolutely no prisoners.
4. Mood is essential – Much like catching a Ryanair flight, you must be in the right mood for rose care. If you are grumpy, ornery, upset, irritated, annoyed, tired, stressed, rushed or basically anything but Zen, pruning roses (much like catching a Ryanair flight) will only worsen whatever bad mood you are in.
5. Dont get too comfortable – because just when you are in that Zen space you get a thorn wedged underneath a nail. Kind of like realizing Ryanair has added some new ridiculous rule that is ultimately going to cost you triple what your original flight cost you.
6. Wear the right clothes – I know when I fly Ryanair I am dressed quite absurdly only because I have tried to strategically wear as many layers as possible to keep my baggage weight and size down. You all know what I am talking about….and this dress code goes for roses as well. No sweaters, no lycra, nothing nice…stick to layers and stick to polarfleece or canvas material like Carhartt. They are your only hope for preservation when rose pruning both for your clothing and your sanity.