Take this area of bluebonnets, a beautiful sight back in March.
Not looking quite so attractive by mid-May. This annual plant has made and thrown its seed and the dried, crispy remains of the plant must be removed for neatness sake. It's time for the Texas two step.
Having bluebonnets is a labor of love, but isn't all gardening. I have at least 8 areas of dried bluebonnets that I need to work on over the next week or so-if the weather would just cooperate. A stroll around the garden this morning made me realize that I won't be doing much of that today unless the sun comes out and pops those seed heads. But, I will be snipping some of the almost ready heads and storing in a brown paper bags or boxes until the fall.
But first up for the two step this week were the poppies. Those of ten thousand seeds. I'm guessing that like many wildflowers their seeds lie dormant in the ground waiting for me to disturb the soil, just like the poppies in the Flanders fields following WW1, so despite the fact that I have plums to reduce their numbers next year I am sure they will be back.
If you want these, and I do.
Then you must wait for this and hope to catch a few of them. Brown paper bags at the ready!
I am serious about collecting some of these this year because of a long term project we began two years ago. That of converting our septic field into a wildflower meadow. When the field was originally done I ordered 2 bags of wildflower seeds from Native American Seed with instruction for them to be added to the spray mix they use to cover the field. It wasn't enough to tell my builder and give him the bags with instruction for them to be put in the tank before they spread. It was never done. I would plant seeds in the fall but nothing ever grew and then I discovered that the soil was probably to rich for them. For the past 3 years we have mowed and bagged and last fall I threw out blanket flowers and bluebonnets. It worked. These and so many more wildflowers showed up this year.
|May 2019 on the septic field|
Their seed pods put on a pretty good show too, but....
But there comes a time when they must be pulled too.
And the herb garden will hopefully take on a tidier appearance as I remove the parsley and cilantro once the seeds are ripe.
It's Chelsea Flower Show week and many gardeners in England adhere to the old rule of cutting back perennials by half at this time. The practice is known as The Chelsea Chop. I have quite a few plants that will get this treatment over the next couple of weeks. The roses, salvias, Mexican marigold mint, Copper Canyon daisy, mealy blue sage, the mint-I may even pull that out completely, oregano, basil, All of theses if left to continue growing will swamp the garden. I want them to look good right through to the fall. A little cut back will help them do that-and some summer rain.