It is a great time in early autumn to train and prune summer flowering roses with lax growth. These are the one like William Lobb, Gloire de France, Ispahan, Tour de Malacoff. These old fashioned roses are often tall 1.8 to 2m in height and if left to their own devices will flower completely out of view and most important unable to be sniffed.
Summer flowering roses, flower from shoots that grow from wood made the previous year. In the autumn, it is very easy to identify this growth as it is strong and covered in leaves, often a slight red colour. It is this growth that must be mostly preserved and tied in.
Start by taking the rose off the supports from last year and if necessary put in new stakes around the base of the rose. Use a minimum of four stakes, more will make the bending easier. Hammer them in well, about 60 to 100cm apart leaving say 100cm above ground, more if the rose is very tall like William Lobb.
If the rose is well established, one or two of the oldest stems can be removed completely at the base, choose those that when removed, will decongest the growth at ground level or do not fit in so well with the overall plan. Also remove any dead or diseased wood.
Identify the stems that have the best new growth and start with these. Cut the stem back to the good, strong, new growth and bend it and tie it onto the stakes. Bend over more new growth, from the same stem, with the aim of producing a set of arches from the stem to the stake.
Continue round the plant, pulling the established stems towards the stake and attaching the new growth in arches.
Bending the new growth in an arch reduces the vigor of the growing tip. Next spring, the rose will shoot from every leaf joint that has been bent over and on these shoots, the flower buds will form, at eye level and within easy reach of a quick sniff