Instead of giving you an extensive to-do list for your September garden, I’d like to concentrate on one task, culling your perennials, whether they are self-propagating by seed or root.

Most of your summer-blooming perennials have exhausted themselves showing off their lovely, gaudy displays for the year. In my yard, these include black-eyed suzans, cosmos, coneflowers, globe amaranth, cock’s comb, phlox, or sages. It’s time to give them a “back to school” serious haircut to promote either one more bloom cycle or just to encourage healthy new growth for the next year.

I spent two chunks of early morning hours doing just that when I discovered a fascinating phenomenon. My silver cock’s comb had somehow cross-pollinated and produced massive, hybrid, extraordinary blooms that only revealed themselves after I culled away their bushy, spent overgrowth. I sat back on my haunches and paused to admire this remarkable gift. Then to my astonishment, another drama unfolded as I was admiring these gorgeous blooms. Bees that had been feasting on neighboring flowers, made a “bee-line” right on over and gleefully covered these newly uncovered sources of nectar! I took a breather and enjoyed the show.

After my delightful intermission, I was inspired to diligently continue grooming my attention-grabbing plants because no matter how stunning perennial blooms are, if they are surrounded by withered stalks, faded plumage, and scraggly over-growth, the dazzling effect is diminished.

So, go ahead, be assertive, snip away, and give permission for all the new wonders to emerge! Maybe we would benefit from snipping away at some of our own accumulated personal detritus as well.

What dead over-growth needs pruning in your garden?

The pomegranates have appeared in the land, the time for pruning and singing has come!

Song of Solomon 2:12