Cutting Back Perennials
For ten weeks this summer Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ was one of the best plants in the garden. It sprawled over paving and glowed in the evening light and was buzzing with bee activity for much of the day. The flowers faded dramatically three weeks ago so it’s now been cut back to 10 cm in the hope that it will flower again.
The Achillea ‘Moonshine’ were also lovely all summer softly distracting throughout June and July whilst waiting for the Sedum ‘Autumn Glory’ planted behind it to flower. These too have been cut back less in the hope of re-flowering more to get a sturdy root system going for next summer.
On the allotment I’ve pruned the gooseberry and black currant bushes cutting back the side shoots that were produced on the leader this year to 15 cm. A good guide is to have 4 or 5 leaf buds remaining on the side-shoots and to remove very old branches at the base and any that cross over others. With the currants I’ve cut the centre of the bush into a goblet-shaped space to provide more ventilation. A thorough weeding in the fruit bush bed was necessary after Nigella ‘Love-in a Mist’ colonised the ground and a sack of well-rotted manure will be applied over winter at the base of each bush.
With the gooseberries I plan to net them late winter rather than leaving it till the fruit forms in spring. I had a poor crop this summer and have been told that finches in particular attack the buds which produce next year’s fruit.
The first lot of sweet peas are over and have started to form seed pods as have the marigolds and ‘Love in a Mist’ so yesterday in the sun I gathered them to store in paper bags to sow at a later date.
The cut flowers this week are Japanese Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’, Hydrangea ‘Madam Mouillere’ and white Cosmos.