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Good displays on the Herbaceous Borders
Don't cut down all your herbaceous plants this winter as
many gardening books tell you but leave the ones with good seed
heads. Seed heads are an important part of a plant's appearance in
autumn and winter.
Have a look at the main herbaceous borders at Ness - if we had
cut the plants back in the autumn there would be a huge empty
borders until March - half the year, what a waste. Take a look at
the border at the bottom of the Herbaceous Lawn where the gardeners
have been weeding and dividing plants, all chopped down apart from
a few random grasses; it looks like a waste land.
At Ness we probably have a head start on you because we
deliberately pick a lot of plants with good winter shapes and seed
heads when we are planting borders in the first place but see what
you have. When you are choosing which plants to buy in the
future think about more than just flowers. As a general rule, later
flowering herbaceous plants (July onwards) tend to be the ones with
good seed heads.
As well as looking good, seed heads and winter stems are
fantastic for wildlife providing food and shelter for a
variety of insects including butterflies, mammals and birds.
Unless we are working on a border, we aim to cut all the winter
stems and seed heads down as new growth appears in the spring from
late February in to March.
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