I know you’re supposed to prune the roses when the forsythia bloom, but sometimes, life is busy, and that’s okay — even if you can’t do a garden task at the optimal time, you can usually do it a little later without too much in the way of negative consequences.
I was working on a very thorny rose at first (John Cabot, a hardy Canadian climber), so I pulled out my trusty rose gloves. These are quite a bit tougher than regular gardening gloves and go all the way up to the elbow; highly recommended that you buy or borrow a pair before working on a very thorny rose.
Most of what I was doing was cutting off dead branches, and then weaving in and tying long climbing stems to an arching trellis. There’s really nothing too complicated here — carefully weave them in a bit, gently so as not to snap them, and then tie them. Remember to tie them loosely, so they have some room to flex and grow; you don’t want to tie so tightly that a growing stem starts being cut by the tie.
I was using floral tape, a kind of stretchy green tape that sticks to itself (if you look closely, you may be able to see it in the fourth photo); I like it for roses because you can sort of wrap it on itself and not actually worry about making knots, which can be difficult to do in garden gloves. But I admit, once I get the stem into place, sometimes I just take the gloves off to do the final tying down. Floral tape is also great to have on hand if you’re going to be doing any decorative flower arranging work, making bouquets, etc.