Barlow Nurseries

Growers of trees, shrubs and hardy herbaceous perennial garden plants near Newport, Shropshire

Dead head promptly…

Woodfield lupin Sept 2013

Woodfield lupin, flowering September 2013


Lots of our herbaceous perennial bed cards include advice to “dead head promptly to encourage a second flush of blooms later in the season”.

If our own experience is anything to go by, a combination of sloth and the fact that lots of plants have really attractive seed heads, means that this advice doesn’t get followed as often as it could, and that second flush never happens.

But it is good advice!

The lupin in our picture, photographed a few days ago in our front garden, is obviously blooming for the second time this year.

It did its thing as usual back in June, and largely because we find lupin seed heads particularly unattractive, it got dead headed very promptly.

And look, a proper second flush!

We must have had a bit of a dead heading frenzy (and boy do we feel smug about it now) because we’ve also got Anthemis, Centauria, Geums, Geraniums and Salvias flowering for the second time in the same border.

So now we’re thinking we should amend the advice on our bed cards to read “always include at least one plant in your borders that has spent flower heads that you really hate, then you’ll be sure to get some dead-heading done”.


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