What started off recently as a lesson in fall garden chores turned into a beautiful garden bouquet for this little lady…
Fall Garden Chores and Cleanup
I like to do as much as I can to clean up my gardens before the snow flies so I won’t have as much to do in the spring. Some plants however like the protection of their leaves, slimy as they may be, over the winter. Cut back some perennials to prevent the spread of powdery mildew. Included in this list are the following:
phlox (the tall variety)
anything else that looks diseased, dead, broken etc.
Fall is also a great time to move things around, so if you (and the plant) were not completely happy with the location of some perennials, get moving.
It is a bit late for deadheading, but I did do so to a few perennials hoping I might get one last flush of bloom in this warm weather.
Gathering Up The Remaining Blooms
My three year old granddaughter loves to pick flowers from my garden anytime. Recently she started off helping me do some fall cleanup. The clippers soon gravitated to the few flowers still blooming…
The bouquet she ended up with was beautiful:
Of course I cannot refuse any request from this sweet girl. I love the fact that she loves my flower gardens as much as I do!
This one was just a bud at the time, so she missed it:
All of the many varieties of hydrangeas sport beautiful flowers. The worst feature of the white “snowball” type however, is that they are easily damaged in a heavy rainfall, creating a mess of floppy hydrangeas.
The large balls of flowers soak up the rain water causing the stems to bend and eventually snap from the excess weight. This happens more often if the shrub is cut back each spring as the stems never get a chance to get thicker and stronger.
However, when your hydrangeas flop in the rain, cut the stems near the spot they bent/snapped, turning the floppy mess into a beautiful bouquet. Do this as soon as possible after the offending downpour, remove all but the top set of leaves and immerse the cuttings into water immediately.
I encountered such a display of floppy hydrangeas recently in a client’s garden and rescued them to do just that. I used my smoothie cup for a makeshift vase, and voila, a gorgeous and fresh bouquet, ready for gifting…
I have done this before, with peonies too as they suffer the same fate during a heavy rain. If the client whose garden I am tending is home, I give the cuttings to them to beautify their own home. This client happened to be away enjoying the summer weather at her cottage though, so these floppy hydrangeas were destined to go elsewhere.
On the way home I dropped the bouquet off at a local nursing home. As it turned out, my timing was perfect. As I walked in with them, staff was organizing a get together for the residents. My offering was gladly accepted and my gift turned into a beautiful centerpiece for the occasion! In a new vase of course.