To cut or not to cut?

Autumn always brings a certain anxiety in the gardening me.  To clean up or not to clean up?

It’s true that our spring season is so fast it seems but a whisper before the heat of summer — so leaving too much to do until then is a fool’s folly (is that a redundant expression?)  But taking down the glory that is autumn is just wrong when it is so beautiful —


Reds, like the flashing fiery foliage of dwarf burning bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’) and late season colour of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’, are set off against the complementary green provided by Cotoneaster dammeri ‘Coral Beauty’, Iris pseudoacorus and Paeonia lactiflora.  The Cotoneaster and peony leaves have yet to show their full autumn colour but will soon enough.  The powdery blue of upright juniper (Juniperus scopularum ‘Wichita Blue’), blue fescue grass (Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’) and donkey tail spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) provide a striking foil for the reds — perhaps their true destiny through all the preceding months.


In advance of the Cotoneaster display, which will include bright red berries, the lace shrub puts on a show of it’s own with delicate, cascading golden foliage.


Lavender joins the glaucous club while the blue trim of the house relates to them all.

Happily, the blues don’t need cutting, nor do the shrubs.  I took advantage of this visit to cut down the shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) but there will have to be a return visit after the first hard frost to continue cutting…

2 thoughts on “To cut or not to cut?”

  1. If its pretty it stays put and if past its best, down it comes. Some stay just because the birds like the seeds. My garden is less then appealing to the eye in late fall then some would like but after the snow flies, no one can see it anyway.

    Liked your pictures.

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