Sometimes Mondays
A Real Non-Event

Deadheading: Good for More Than Gardening

In gardening, deadheading is a particular maintenance practice that prolongs blooms, prevents seeds from spreading where you don't want them, and keeps things looking neat and tidy in the garden.

Basically, it means pinching or snipping off spent blooms -- those blooms way past their prime.  (My favorite gardening mantra:  If it's brown, cut it down.)

Some gardeners hate this chore, but I love it!  I find it very meditative and centering -- and it's a great way to keep in close touch with what's happening in my garden.  

IMG_8754

(That's a look down into my bucket after a good deadheading session last weekend.)

So, last weekend - as I was deadheading my perennials and containers - I started thinking about the value of getting the spent "stuff" out of the garden.   

It certainly makes things LOOK better.  (Because a clump of dead daisy heads is really not attractive, y'know?)  

And when you pinch off dead-and-dying blooms, you provide more energy for the plant to produce NEW blooms -- or to grow deeper roots if the blooming period is really over.  (Roses respond especially well to deadheading.  And those daisies?  Once I deadhead the dead daisy heads, I get a second round of blooms.)

And deadheading allows you to gather seeds to share or to plant where you want them.  (Rather than the wild self-seeding that can happen with some plants if you're not careful.)  (I'm talking to you, Japanese anemone.)

All good things . . . for the garden.

But.

Isn't the same true of our lives?

Perhaps we should also be doing some "life-maintenance" once in a while. . . deadheading out the "spent" stuff in our lives.

Relationships.
Situations.
Habits.
Notions.

With regular deadheading, we can create space and energy for our own new growth.  We can keep old, negative seeds from spreading and growing where we don't want them.  We can keep our minds neat and tidy . . . and ready for new blooms.

Deadheading.  Turns out it's good for more than just garden maintenance!

Comments

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Chloe

I'm too wary of life's twists and turns these days to venture into the area of deadheading as life-maintenance, except to try to pinch out all negative thoughts, which I agree take up too much time, space and energy in all our lives. But I am with you on the garden dead-heading. I see it as a positive grooming practice, except when some of those spent blooms do NOT want to be detached from their stems. Then what do you do? I'm not enough of a gardener to know:-).

Bonny

My secateurs are sharp and I've been deadheading like crazy - in the garden and life. I'm not sure anything is neat and tidy yet, but it is good to clear out!

Carole

What a wonderful analogy and particularly useful for me right now. It's really a gift that in times of crisis everything falls away except for the stuff that truly matters.

AsKatKnits

I love this - so much goodness in here. And, you are right - deadheading takes more than one form sometimes! XOXO

Debbie

Yesterday, I spent most of the morning deadheading and doing some much needed garden clean up. I always find this work to be meditative and, in the end, my garden looks better and my head is clearer. I really like your analogy !

Vera

Great analogy Kim. Any task that is meditative like that can be healing.

maggie

thanks for the reminder! and the insight...

Jo

Loving your creative analogy and planning to put it to good use!

Mary

What a great metaphor, Kym - I've been religiously deadheading the marigolds in my pots this summer and it IS paying off. Off to ponder the spent blooms in my life now :-)

Patty

I love the way you think! I've also been religiously deadheading my petunias this year and they've brought me so much joy! And in life...I've managed to do a little bit there recently too. How freeing!

Vicki

Yes!! I finally got out into my garden over the weekend and did a little deadheading, but mostly weeding... so much invasive yucky stuff. It helped in life, also. ;)

HonoreĀ“

Excellent and inventive approach to the concept; I've spent the day "deadheading" pieces of paper I"ve written random notes on in a random fashion. I guess, in a manner of speaking: I've been deadheading spent "brain cells." I trust I can afford that ;-)).
Cheers~

Anne

As others have said, wonderful analogy. Highly relevant to my spot in life right now.
Your insights are so valuable.
Have you thought about writing (and illustrating, of course) a book?

margene

Your post feels close to my heart and thoughts at the moment. I've been looking at habits, closets, daily practices, and have been assessing to see what needs to change or be added. Retiring is a gift that needs tending and I'm enjoying the task of planting and adding, deleting and deadheading parts of my life. Perfect analogy for me right now, Kym! I love the act of garden deadheading as I the process of getting rid of the fading blooms and making way for the new.

Sandy

I couldn't agree more!

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