Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keep Cutting!

As I walk through the garden each morning, I snip a little here and a little there.  It has really paid off in this very hot summer with continued blooms from my top performing plants.

Phlox Blue Paradise has been a real winner this summer.  I just keep cutting the spent blooms and it puts out more beautiful blooms.

Phlox Eva Cullum has never been a favorite because it is more prone to mildew.  However, this year it has outdone itself, less mildew and more blooms.  It doesn't seem to make sense with all of the heat and rain!

This is Phlox Laura.  I put it in last year and it really did not bloom very much, but it has been a strong performer this year showing no mildew so far.

Henryi is a Type 2 Clematis (just trim a little each spring to cut out dead vines).  However, this year after blooming I cut it to the ground to revitalize it after becoming very woody.  It has grown to about six feet tall and is reblooming.  So don't be afraid to cut back overgrown or woody clematis in the Type 1 and Type 2 categories.

This is my daughters Autumn Clematis which is a Type 3.  It is cut back each year to the ground and this is the growth it puts out.  I see many that are not cut back and just put forth top bloom above lots of old wood.

I cut my Heliopsis Lemon Queen down by half after its first growth spurt usually when it is about a foot tall to control the height.  As you can see, it is still about seven feet along a narrow walkway - not the best placement but nowhere else to place it!

Mango Meadowbrite Echinacea has been my best performing coneflower this year.  If you cut off the dead blooms it will continue to flower up until frost.  It is a more delicate looking coneflower but it seems to have more blooming stamina than many of the stronger looking coneflowers.

Rozanne Geranium went a little crazy this summer and crawled over everything in this bed, so I went a little crazy and cut it to the ground.  I am not sure it will rebloom this fall, but it is rejuvenating and looks a lot more normal.

Since this is getting a little lengthy, I will keep cutting around the garden moving into the front garden on my next post.


Jenny said...

Thanks for the tips. Beautiful flowers. I have learned to cut away dead ones and they do keep flowering, the plants. I am glad to know what to do with the clematis. I have 5 species and they are all over the pergolas and walls now. What to do? Cut away the dead leaves? I will try that. They can overgrow each other quickly.
x Jenny from Holland

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jenny,

Check online as to what type of clematis you have and this will tell you when to prune them and how much. They sound beautiful.

All the types benefit from a severe pruning every once in awhile if they are very woody, producing a limited amount of flowers.


Anonymous said...

Dear Eileen, You are so right. It is the attention to detail which ensures that the garden retains an air of respectability right through each of the seasons. This is particularly evident in what you show here where the garden in autumn retains all the freshness, colour and interest of an earlier season. But then, you are no coward when it comes to hard work.

Noel Morata said...


i'm enjoying touring your garden with you today, i'm really enjoying my visit. the larger size photos on your blog really sets all your plants so well :)

meemsnyc said...

The phlox are gorgeous. I'll have to remember to try to grow these!

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Edith,

I know that not everyone has the time to prune each day, I know I didn't when working full time and raising a family. I just cut everything down in the fall and didn't worry so much about rebloom. But, I am learning now that I could have kept my garden going much longer than I would have thought.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Noel,

I had to play around with blogger for a while to master the text and the larger pictures.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Meemsysc,

You will love Phlox, so easy to grow.


A Garden of Threads said...

I am awful at deadheading, but I can see the benefit of that task. I must try harder next year. Your garden is great.

Karen said...

Hello Eileen, That's it, you have inspired me to try phlox again! I am jotting down the names so I can add some more color. My Autumn Clematis died last year and I was so disappointed, especially now, seeing your daughter's gorgeous specimen. I will definitely be planting a new one for next year. (I just wish I hadn't lost the receipt, I could have gotten a replacement!)

Thank you, Eileen, excellent post!

MrBrownThumb said...

That clematis is fantastic. Those that aren't cut back and only bloom on a short portion of the plant are kind of sad to look at, when you realize they could look like this one.

Beautiful collection of blooms.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Garden of Threads,

I was also surprised at what consistent deadheading can do. It gave me weeks of extra blooms.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Karen I have the same clematis on my pergola but it is slower to bloom than my daughter's, maybe hers is an older variety.

If you still have the remnants of the clematis, they may take it back without the receipt. I am really bad at saving plant receipts.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Mr. Brown Thumb I had to convince my daughter to cut it back a couple of years ago when she moved in. I think it had been let go for many decades, all wood and lots of flower dust. It was quite a feat cutting it down but worth it.


Reading Tea Leaves said...

Oh no, Blogger just swallowed my comment!

I was just saying ... your blooms look beautiful Eileen. I know you put a lot of hard work into your garden and it pays off big time!

Stunning clematis.


Sweet Home and Garden Carolina said...

I have the Sweet Autumn draped on my fence as well, Eileen. I never cut it back to the ground because the one time I did it took all season to recover. I just trim it by a third every year and it does just fine.

I love the 'Laura' phlox. I also love my 'Peppermint twist '.

Consistent deadheading is really the key to longer blooms in the garden and I'm consistently looking for heads to lop off.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Carolyn, I do remember seeing Peppermint Twist on your blog. I am going to look for it next spring.

I think my daughter's clematis was decades without pruning when she moved in. It is a very vigorous plant variety and she has had to yank some of it for control.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jeanne, I also have sweet autumn clematis but it is in its third year, beginning to cover the top of my pergola, but not as early bloomer as my daughter's.


Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Eileen, you are so brave to cut your clematis down to the ground! I have one beautiful but overgrown clematis montana... I should find some ways to give it a haircut. The blue phlox is sooo pretty. Blue flowers are making their way to my garden.
Thanks for leaving me a comment!

joey said...

Your prolific mid-September garden is still amazing, Eileen.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Tatyana, I was worried about cutting Henryi to the ground because it is one of my favorites, but it came back very strong. I am expecting it will put out some wonderful flowers next year.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Joey, I am becoming more enthused about planting flowers that bloom in the fall.


Indoor Fountains said...

Thanks for the great tips. Everything looks beautiful!!

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

You are so right to deadhead. It took me a while to learn that important lesson but now I know that it really pays off!

Anonymous said...

I love your phlox. So beautiful.