Hidden talents and late afternoon!
What is blooming?

Deadheading!

High 90F
Low 58.5 F

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Spirea 'Magic Carpet' on July 19th

Deadheading, the process of removing spent flower heads, takes a bit of time but it is a job well worth doing!  The above spirea, Spirea 'Magic Carpet' settles into summer with bland coloration and some really dried up looking flower heads which are not only unsightly but are also great in number. Spirea
This picture taken on May 5th of this year!
About two weeks ago I took the shears to this plant and am now rewarded with that beautiful orange glow reminiscent of the springtime.  It also reminds me that it is almost time to order bulbs and this particular tulip
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This is supposed to be 'Princes Irene' but I received a substitute which I think is 'General de Wet

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would go very well with the new spring growth of this spirea don't you think?

Deadheading is a chore which I usually enjoy.  Deadheading can extend the length of time a plant will bloom or it can encourage a perennial to push a second flush of blooms.  These blooms are usually smaller but always worthwhiIe.  Deadheading can also keep a plant from setting seed which requires quite a bit of energy  from the plant often causing the foliage to deteriorate.   Most perennials are easy to deadhead but one that is a challenge is the  Dsc_0015
Campanula persicifolia 'Chettle Charm'

the Campanula persicifolia or Peachleaf bellflower. This is quite a tedious task as the flowers must be removed close to the stem so the next bud can develop.  It is helpful to have a pair of glasses (for me, at least) and a pair of sharp pointed scissorsDsc_0088

so you can get between the stalk and the passed bloom making sure not to damage the emerging bud.  If you keep deadheading you will be rewarded with an extended bloom time but this one is labor intensive.  The plant will reflower although not with its' original magnificence but, it is still satisfying.  Dsc_0085 Other perennials and shrubs which I do try to deadhead religiously are the alchemilla or yarrows, the bee balm, hosta, phlox, delphinium, potentilla and salvia to name a few.  I do leave the seedheads on certain perennials such as Sedum 'Autumn Joy' as it looks so nice with snow on it adding to winter interest in the garden. Dsc_0008 What plants to you deadhead on a regular basis and with great success?

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