For years I’ve been suspicious that I could get more out of my already great climbing roses. They are the “Joseph’s Coat” climbers and they reward us every summer with two big waves of blooms. The roses start out a truly stunning coral/red then change to more of an orange and then to a yellow, thus the name “Joseph’s Coat”. I was quite comfortable pruning my other roses but the climbers intimidated me. Finally, this February I was feeling particularly empowered and did a test of sorts. I did the pruning of the roses on the left as instructed in Fine Gardening’s Guide to Pruning Climbing Roses and let my gardener do his thing on the right. Soon as the warm weather hit I noticed a much thicker, tighter growth on the roses I pruned. My pruning had encouraged more blooms exactly at the height I wanted (just above my other plants in that bed). Yippee! When I did the pruning I had paid special attention to securing the remaining canes on the wall either horizontal or sometimes even bending down. As mentioned in the guide, this suppresses the hormones that would normally allow the uppermost bud to become dominant, instead they all bloom. Plants are so cool.