Tidy bor­der peren­ni­als

Gardeners' World - - Autumn Pruning Guide -

Many herba­ceous plants pro­vide vis­ual in­ter­est in the au­tumn and on into win­ter with their or­na­men­tal seed­heads and fo­liage even when they have died back. In ad­di­tion, their old stems may also pro­vide a few de­grees of frost pro­tec­tion to the crowns of less hardy species – aga­pan­thus, salvias and zant­edeschia – as well as to count­less in­sects and other forms of gar­den wildlife. For the most part, there­fore, it pays to ig­nore your ‘tidi­ness gene’.

What to cut Del­phini­ums, lupins and any­thing with stems that are al­ready in a state of col­lapse.

Where to cut Take stems down to a node – the place where you can tell leaves will sprout from next year. Most herba­ceous plants can be safely cut to the ground.

When to cut When you can see that flop­ping herba­ceous plants are smoth­er­ing other plants.

Del­phini­ums won’t stay stat­uesque in the win­ter bor­der

Gera­ni­ums tol­er­ate be­ing cut right to their base

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