It might be time to christen the process of cutting back and cleaning up summer flowering perennials at this time of the year.
Pruning back in mid-May to strengthen the plants and delay flowering is referred to as the Chelsea chop, and it’s always recommended to do this pruning around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show, which takes place about the third week of May each year.
Perhaps I could call this month’s pruning the Tatton chop? It would tie in with the Tatton Park Flower Show which took place earlier this week.
Cutting back plants such as the spreading Campanula muralis removing spent flower stems and untidy growth will have the double benefit of cleaning up plants and the garden in general but will also promote a second flush of flowering, not in all varieties but certainly with some such as the Campanula and also many of the hardy Geraniums or Cranesbills.
Other plants that will benefit from this Tatton chop will be Delphiniums, Lupins, Penstemons, Phlox and Digitalis. Many of these will have flowered already but some may still be giving of their best so go easy with the secateurs pruning only those that are ready for the clean up.
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