Whilst clearing the contents of the cutting beds, I have sometimes hesitated, holding back the secateurs and erring on the side of caution and leaving some of the annuals a little longer; calendula have fallen into this category although really they are way, way past their best. Sadly, having saved seed last year, they have melded into a ubiquitous yellow from cross-pollination, although there has been an occasional hint of the distinguishing features of Indian Prince and Snow Princess. I shall be buying fresh seed for next year!
It made sense, I thought, to put them out of their misery and cut the remaining flowers for a Monday vase, allowing me then to cull the plants themselves. Once cut, there weren’t really enough for anything other than a small posy, so I added some yellow single unnamed dahlias and a few barely open buds of Dahlia ‘David Howard’, as well as some self-seeded nasturtium from one of the bold borders. On the cusp foliage of Heuchera ‘Kassandra’ provided autumnal support, along with a handful of fallen leaves from Amelanchier lamarkii.
One of the less obvious joys of the autumn season is the culling of spent plant material, piling it onto the compost heap and knowing in a year or so it will become a valuable resource for the garden, enough to mulch every border with some left to bag up and use to enrich conditions for specific plants. The 2021 heap is currently piled high above its retaining slats but will quickly drop back as the composting process begins, and a quick peek at the 2020 heap shows a gloriously dark and crumbly mix ready and waiting to be used.
The phrase ‘pushing up daisies’ refers to something being dead and buried; composting my daisies, however, and all the other spent plant material in the garden, instead brings new life and enrichment from what was once dead, just another of Mother Nature’s tricks.
Is there anything avoiding the compost heap in your garden that you could pop in a vase and share with us today? If so, please leave the usual links to and from this post.