These beautiful Rudbeckia need regular deadheading--but they're well worth the trouble

If you want to get more from your flowers, grab the clippers, go out and DEADHEAD every few days.  Cutting off spent blossoms not only make plants look better–in many cases it will extend their blooming season…often all summer. 

But deadheading only works some of the time–

Sometimes flowering can’t be extended–especailly in our Southern heat.   The daylily season is fairly fixed.  The foxgloves and hollyhocks bloom and die.   And there’s no way to get more color from the winter annuals I’m so fond of once they’ve decided it’s just too darn hot.  I pull up them up and compost– But I always leave one or two plants  so they can GO TO SEED. 

It's a good thing to see this dying poppy going to seed in my garden--means more plants next year.

Going to seed is good is the garden–the only way to keep some of my very best plants–my unusual red poppies, my very deep blue larkspur–my cherry/plum tomatoes which are so plentiful,  tough and unique. 

I've grown this big, beautiful red poppy for decades--always from seed scattered in the garden

All of these plants are HEIRLOOMS.  Theyt have not been hybiridized  or improved by breeders and scientists.  These open-pollentated plants come true from seed. 

And heirlooms are back in fashion–big time.  $5.99 a pound for the heirloom tomatoes at Whole Foods.   And they sell. 

Just last week my friend and gardening buddy, Robert brought over a box of the best cucumbers I’ve every eaten–his Heirloom White Cucumbers from the mountians.  Delicious. 

Here (by request from my lunch guests, Kristen and Delaney)  is a link to the salad I made with these wonderful fresh, old-fashioned vegetables. http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=226560     Note:  Instead of the peanuts, I added some Polli Spicy Peppers and Garlic, an Italian product that I buy at Capri Flavors and can’t live without.

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