Bird Netting for Roses in Winter


Judith Cox

This week, Judith shares how she prepares her roses for winter, including the use of netting and the importance of snow cover.

The temperature today is confusing. It is nearly Halloween, and the temperature is in the high twenties. It does, however, give me more time for my garden cleanup. I haven’t finished cutting back the peonies and I keep finding pots to empty. I am still annoyed at the raccoon that trashed my potting shed. I have better things to do than restacking pots!

The snowplow guys have been here and put their markers all around the driveway. This serves to remind me that I should put some snow-fencing around the front garden to catch the snow and protect the garden. I think I might add some reflective tape to the markers as well. Last year we had a very enthusiastic driver, so I want to be sure to batten down the hatches. 

Bird Netting for Roses in Winter

While my roses are really tough, I do like to wrap bird-netting around them as it helps to collect the snow. I examine each rose to see if there are any branches that might break over the winter. While it is not a good time to prune roses right now, I do remove branches that might snap and break. The cold and snow will not harm my roses or hardy perennials, but the freeze/thaw cycle that starts around the end of January will. As it warms up in that week near the end of January the roses can respond by starting to grow. After it warms up, the following week it gets cold, and that growth will freeze. That is so hard on roses and hardy perennials. This problem is easily fixed if your plants have lots of snow cover. The bird-netting really helps to hold the snow on those plants. Right now, I am enjoying the late blooms of my roses. It is always a treat to see these flowers as the season turns. I leave the rosehips on the roses for the birds, and I love the rosehip colours over the winter season. 

Gardening with my Knee Braces

I am often asked how I do my gardening with my body being the way that it is these days. I garden by using all the tools I can find to help me. The braces I use to help my knees allow me to stay upright and I try to sit at regular intervals. I am aware that the ground is uneven, so I move with slow determination. I pick my priorities and try to accept that I can’t do everything. That is the hardest part. I use my wheelbarrow for lighter loads as pulling a wagon is easier for heavier things. I stress to all of you to be aware of your body. If it hurts, don’t push it. Be aware of where you place yourself and move slowly. It will get you a lot farther that trying to rush. 

The Bee Hotels are leaving

The student who installed the bee hotels in my garden is picking them up this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing how things turned out and I hope to have some pictures to show you next week. Enjoy your week. Judith. (Email:  Veggie Bites are available at or

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