Six years ago Simon and Ali set their sights on a very tangled, very overgrown and very thorny climbing rose they came to affectionately call 'Monster Rose 1', the first of a few old roses around the college grounds that needed a lot of attention. They decided the best way to rejuvenate the rose was to untie it from its wire supports, leaving it to lay flat on the ground. Additional wire supports were put in place, as well as replacing all the old wire, creating a new, sturdier support framework. Carefully choosing young flexible stems they tied them up along the new wires, cutting out all the unwanted stems. For five days they worked on the rose, scratched and with pieces of thorns in their fingers and hands, they created a newly shaped climbing rose.
For the last few days, Ali and Graham have been giving Monster Rose 1 its annual prune, shortening the laterals, removing old stems, replacing them with younger stems and tying them to the wires, creating a framework that should last another few years.