At this time of year the tidy minded amongst you can be tempted to cut back faded flowers to keep everything looking good for just a bit longer – there are still plants flowering but those that are going over are messing things up. But hang on just a minute. Many plants have seedbeds that provide some much welcome structure and interest for months over Winter when there is little else to look at in the garden, and by tidying now you could be missing out.
The Agapanthus and Phlomis in the photo are two really good examples of this as their seedbeds are strong and will last well whatever the weather throws at them. When the flowers were at that in between stage a few weeks ago when they were all tired and a bit brown but before they dropped off, they did indeed look like they needed a tidy. Now though the reward for leaving them is plain to see.
Of course it’s not just you who could be missing out. Birds will welcome seeds being left for Winter food, and insects will hibernate in amongst seedheads, dried leaves and hollow stems.
Focus your tidying on the sort of flowers and foliage that go all soggy and plastered down, and think twice about removing anything still standing or that’s dry and creating some useful frost protection.
This post was written by Christine Whatley on October 7, 2021 11:02 am