I have been a bit quiet. But so is the garden this time of year. Everything slumbers under a blanket of leaves.
There are still things to be done though, like putting the standard rose to bed. Ordinary garden roses have their oculation point covered by soil, so they are less vulnerable. With standard roses, the stem is usually a vigorous botanic rose, and the cultivar is added on top. The part where they have grown together is exposed, and this makes them prone to frost damage.
What I usually do with this Rosa ‘Queen Elizabeth’ in november:
- I prune it half way. It has very long stems which can get damaged by a storm.
- I take a big bunch of hay and tie it all the way around the oculation point.
There is no need to cover the whole rose with cloth. Plastic is not a good idea as it does not ventilate and can cause the stem to rot.
As long as this very vulnerable area is well protected, your rose will survive a western European winter easily. You prune the standard rose properly by the end of February or in the beginning of March, and then it will be ready for another season of flowering.