Running into thorns in your garden? The experts at HGTV.com share tips on how to prune thorny plants and practice safe gardening.
"I've got a little gardening secret to share with you," says master gardener Paul James. "I don't like growing a lot of plants with thorns. I'll be the first to admit that it's silly, especially since there are so many beautiful thorny plants. It's just that I've never liked reaching into a plant to cut or prune it only to be poked by some painful protuberance."
Despite that, Paul has a few roses and barberries - plus, some junipers, cedars and spruces, which may be thornless but their stiff needles certainly feel like thorns. "I don't mean to give plants with thorns a bad rap," he says. "After all, some of the most beautiful plants in the world have them. It's just that you won't find too many of them growing at my place."
So what can you do to make growing plants with thorns a painless process? Here are a few items that can help: