Tidy­ing up peren­ni­als

Amateur Gardening - - Your Gardening Week -

A GroUp of Geum ‘Mrs J. Brad­shaw’ have been fan­tas­tic this year, bloom­ing con­stantly from about late May un­til the end of Au­gust. now flow­ers have faded leav­ing long stems topped with fluffy seed heads and clumps that look a bit tired. Af­ter cut­ting the spent stems down to the ground, I find it helps to chop plants back hard to re­ju­ve­nate the fo­liage.

rather than let the fad­ing flower stems of Astilbe ‘pro­fes­sor van der Wie­len’ set seed, I’ve taken them back to the base. over the next month or so, the fo­liage will start to turn brown and crispy, and I’ll prune the whole lot back by cut­ting 2in (5cm) above the ground, tak­ing care to avoid any of the knuckle-like growths near the sur­face.

don’t get car­ried away and cut back ev­ery­thing; se­dum, monarda, al­li­ums, rud­beckia, Jerusalem sage, echi­nacea and other late flow­er­ing peren­ni­als, along with many or­na­men­tal grasses, are still look­ing good. Their seed heads will also pro­vide food for birds and add sculp­tural in­ter­est over win­ter, so leave prun­ing un­til spring.

Cut­ting back geum

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