Time for Cutting Back, Or Not
During late May and early June I spend a lot of time cutting back my perennials.
There are the spring-blooming perennials that blooming that need a haircut afterwards to keep them from sprawling about and/or to encourage them to give a repeat performance. This includes the Bluestars (Amsonia), perennial Salvias, and the taller Catmints (Nepeta).
In past years I have also cut back the Wild Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis) after it blooms, but Judy missed the seed pods, so this year I’m leaving it alone.
I do, however, cut back some of the taller summer and fall-blooming perennials: New England Aster (Symphiotrichum novae-angliae) and some other asters, Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba), and Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum), for example. These get cut back hard, by at least half.
However, I tend not to touch the Cup Plants (Silphium perfoliatum), Joe Pye Weeds (Eutrochium), or Monardas. I feel that they don’t respond as well, plus there are some plants that really should be allowed to come into their full towering glory.
On a completely different front, I wanted to say that the Gray Dogwoods (Cornus Racemosa) are particularly floriferous this year.
There are several Gray Dogwoods by the patio. They go well with the ‘Sally Holmes’ rose on the lower left.
And speaking of roses, ‘Darlow’s Enigma’ has come into bloom as well. It’s a tall rambling rose growing on an arbor that leads into the back garden, and its fragrance welcomes all who enter. It’s also got a birds nest this year, high up among its thorny canes. A Robin’s nest, I’m pretty sure, because two adult Robins worked themselves into a frenzy when I paused beneath the arbor earlier today.
Have you been cutting any plants back lately?