|Cutting-back in progress|
|Perennials in hoar frost in the cottage garden|
In addition to disliking the general air of desuetude of dead perennials, I have two good reasons for clearing the borders now. Firstly, they are not planted only with late-flowering perennials. There is too much space in a border to waste on having only one display (however late into winter the remains of that are left), and there is no reason why it should not be of interest and beauty for most of the year. To be so, however, it is essential that old material is cleared away before the new growth starts to appear. With an early display of bulbs in the mix this means it must be done now to avoid their shoots being damaged. This may not be the case in all gardens, but there is also the issue of practicality - it cutting-back isn't done now, it must be done later, and why do a winter job when spring is advancing? Or who has time to?
|Helenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer'|