Autumn, like dusk, gilded the landscape in its ripened rays as the petals and foliage blushed in the frosty air.  Beauty was everywhere.

As we begin to put our landscapes to bed – tidying, raking, mulching, and pruning, you might consider letting your perennials stand. To many, this seems counterintuitive, and to the fastidious, this seems outright insane, but Nature says otherwise.

Perennials within the natural world are certainly not cut back, so why should we? The answer lies mostly in aesthetics. Many people think spent perennials look untidy and unwieldly, yet they actually provide Winter interest, and more importantly, they serve as a source of food and shelter for local wildlife.

And as the snow falls and covers these perennials, undulating shapes and mounds give the winter landscape further depth and appeal.

Ornamental grasses are especially appealing as are Coneflowers, Sedum, Goldenrod, Sunflowers, Gaillardia, and Black Eyed Susans. Of course, if you have some aggressive self-seeders, you may want to consider cutting them back, or at least, removing their seed heads.

Fight your instincts and quell the urge to cut back your perennials. In doing so, you’ll be offering food and shelter for birds, squirrels, and other critters while creating interest in a somewhat lackluster gray and white season. As always, reach out to Sweeney’s with any questions or concerns you may have. We’re always here to help guide you. Remember to schedule your Fall Clean Ups as many trees have yet to lose their leaves.

Plant of the Week

Redosier Dogwood

Deciduous, compact shrub offers year round interest.  Lacy, white flowers bloom in Spring amongst dark green foliage.  White berries appear in Fall as the foliage matures to a purplish-red while the stems turn a brilliant red that remain through Winter.  Prefers sun to partial shade, and moist soil.  Grows 4-6′ tall and 4-6′ wide.  Attracts butterflies and wildlife.

“Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; 
but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance.  What man can stand with autumn 
on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling 
hills that reach to the far horizon?”

-Hal Borland

Well wishes,

Kim Sweeney