Winter is taking a long time to go away; luckily this year none of the roses show real frost damage and they are looking promising. Some of the roses are starting to bud, with Thérèse Bugnet on the lead. She is always the first to bloom and her red branches are a spectacular site in the still bare garden. My new beauty Mme Ballu is also showing signs of life and I can not wait to see the first blooms. Last week in the freezing cold I pruned the roses, that is to say, I only removed some dead branches, and sprinkled some dried organic manure around each bush. Hopefully starting today spring will come round and a new rose year is about to begin.