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.