Dr. Rose, when is the best time to cut roses for cut-flower to decorate my house? My husband says first thing in the morning but I'm not sure. I have a very shady garden. Name withheld, Llwynypia

If you are who I think you are then your husband doesn't get up in the morning anyway. Yes that old man of yours is right, either in the morning or the evening when the stems are full of sap is the best time to cut your blooms. Certainly not at midday when the sun is at its highest. The fact that you have a shady garden is more worrying and I would suggest you could cut your blooms at any time during the day. Then again roses don't do very well in a shady garden, they certainly are a sun loving plant. I suggest you get the old man to bed at night instead of staying up half the night talking to Ray the Rose on the phone. Get him out there in the morning to prune the trees and let a bit more light into your garden. Remember when he was younger and full of sap himself he would have trimmed those trees back long before now. If I were you I would threaten to go on strike because he's pretty hopeless cooking dinner, which should get him out there trimming the trees back. Put your foot down. Doctor Rose