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.
(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.
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.
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!