The weathered stone was cool and smooth, flocked here and there with moss, its jagged edges softened by the elements and constant patter of traffic.  Flanked on each side, the perennials began to crowd the path, decked in seasonal splendor and hue.  Their blooms perfumed the air and extended towards our fingertips, longing to be admired and fussed over.


And fussing is a must.

In addition to supplemental watering, considering how hot and dry Summer has been thus far, despite the recent storms, flowers also require deadheading or “pinching”, and it’s not purely for aesthetic reasons.

Removing spent and faded flowers helps encourage reblooming while improving the health of the foliage and preventing nuisance reseeding.  Additionally, deadheading helps direct energy toward the root system, so plants are able to build food reserves for the following year.  Perennials and flowering shrubs both benefit from the practice, but you need not worry about annuals.

So, how does one go about deadheading?  Simple.  Really.  For perennials with flowers at the tips of the stems, cut just below the faded flower.  For plants with leafy flower stems and leaves at the base of the plant, cut back to just above the top most, unopened bud.  For perennials with bare stems, cut off close to the ground.  If you’re just not sure, feel free to reach out to Sweeney’s.  We’ll make sure you become a skilled and prolific deadheader.

Plant of the Week

Photo of Crème Caramel Coreopsis courtesy of Midwest Groundcovers (try saying that three times in a row…)

Crème Caramel Coreopsis

Bronzy-apricot-pinkish flowers bloom June – October atop wispy stems and foliage.  Flowers deepen to a lush orangey-red when temperatures cool.  Prefers full sun and moist, well-drained soil.  Grows 12-28″ tall and 18-24″ wide.  Attracts butterflies and is deer resistant.

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed.”

-Walt Whitman

Best wishes,

Kim Sweeney