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Weekend Diversion

Going to Seed

It's the time of year for garden clean-up.  Time to prepare the plants for winter and maybe even get a head start on next year's garden.  

But . . . I'm kind of a lazy gardener in the fall.  I've grown tired of weeding and the more tedious garden chores.  I want to just sit back and relax at this point.  (And, besides, I still have plenty of things blooming!)


Really, though, I do a lot of garden "prep" in the fall.  I move plants around.  I weed (it never ends).  I cut back some of the plants that really need it.  I plant bulbs.  I make a lot of notes for next year.  I bring in all my little garden tchotchkes.  I pull out the annuals and empty my hanging baskets.

But.  I don't tend to cut back my perennials.  I don't mind a garden (even in the off season) that is . . . less than tidy.  I leave seedheads that are . . . interesting.  Or that provide food for the birds.  Or that will seed in a way I want them to seed.  Or that will collect snow in a particularly beautiful way (when that happens) (because it will).

Besides . . . I find seedheads to be quite lovely all on their own.  Here are three that have caught my eye this week:


Penstemon.  When at it's peak, this penstemon - called Husker's Red - features white blooms on reddish stalks.  I often cut these stalks with seedheads for fall flower arrangements. 


Butterfly weed.  At it's peak, the blooms are bright orange and a staple in butterfly gardens.  Butterfly weed is in the "milkweed family," so is especially beneficial for Monarchs.  I often share the seeds with friends (intentionally)*, and with my neighbors (unintentionally, but purposefully).  (They love me so.)


Clematis.  At its peak, this particular clematis ('Tranquilite') sports huge white blossoms with a burgundy/purple center.  Although I go a little weak-in-the-knees for pretty much any blooming clematis, I also love their interesting seedheads once the blooms have faded.

How about you?  Are you a neat-and-tidy gardener come fall?  Or, like me, do you let seedheads . . . do their thing?


Be sure to visit Carole for other Three on Thursday posts today.


*If you'd like some of my butterfly weed seeds for your garden, send me an email or let me know in the comments and I'll mail you a batch.




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ooohhh, pretty, Kym! we will be swapping out the potted plants next week in favor of mums, but that's about it for "gardening" around here :-)


I'm going to sow my butterfly weed under the bay window in my kitchen. I've thought about planting bulbs but then I don't really love the green stems after the flowers are spent so I'm torn.


Doug generally cuts everything down to the quick...the clematis seed heads are so pretty though aren't they?


I too leave those seed heads! Although, this year I will be moving quite a few Lamb's Ear to fill in a new spot! I also need to divide some Iris. And, move my Poppies... oy, lots of work still!


I'm a lazy gardener in the fall, so I leave seedheads. I love all the forms the clematis seedheads take and the deer and birds eat rosehips. While I can't seem to attract goldfinches to a feeder, I do see many of them on the purple coneflower and black-eyed susan seedheads that I leave. I have a wonderful view of them right out my kitchen window, which makes doing dishes a pleasure!


I tend to like things VERY tidy, but since we moved in when this garden was in seasonal transition, I thought I would wait and see how things play out. I can always change things NEXT year.

That photo of the butterfly weed is "frame-worthy". The "hairs" are so fine and beautiful!


I’m a some what lazy gardener. I don’t tidy up until November. I do some cleaning up to highlight the fall blooms in September but the big clean up is late. Butterfly seeds, please!


I am lazy lazy LAZY, though I like to think of it more like "letting nature do its thing"!! Haha. I'd love some butterfly weed seeds. ;)


Well, I'm definitely a lazy gardener - I leave it almost all to Fletch - lol. We do leave a ton of seed heads for birds (and arrangements). Your pictures of the various seed heads are gorgeous Kym. and I would love some bufferfly weed seeds!!

Jeannie Gray

My fall gardening tends to be cursing the fallen leaves. I LOVE the colorful fall leaves and watching them fall, walking through the crunchy leaves, watching them blow across the road in front of my car..... but I Despise having to deal with them in the yard. In other words, I'm definitely a lazy gardener.


We just harvested the pumpkins in our school garden today. My home garden will probably just sit and remind me to take a rest until spring 😉


The seedheads are very interesting and I remember your pictures of seed heads with snowy caps. So beautiful! I have a box of bulbs to plant in my little front garden and I'm very hopeful the new snowdrops will come up in the spring. The hostas are almost ready to be cut down, but I'll wait until the maple leaves have fallen and I can plant around it's base. I spent the day cleaning out my pots and putting them away for the season. I'm missing the blossoms already!


I'm not much of a gardener, only a few potted plants on my porch, but I do get fascinated by the end of a flower's lifecycle -- before I suddenly get sick of it and throw the whole thing away.

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