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What to do at the end of summer???

Hi, I’m a new gardener and have little / no experience in pruning.

the following have been wonderful all summer, but are now looking less sprightly, so wondering what I should be doing to prepare for winter and keep them good for next year.... ANY advice welcome!

1. salvia nemorosa, looking really woody and scruffy. It flowered wonderfully but not more

2. Scabiosa - is this one annual or perennial?!?

3. Not overly sure what this is!!!


  • JamesS-BJamesS-B Gateshead, Tyne and WearPosts: 251
    I prune my salvia in spring so it has a better chance of making it through the winter.

    I cut my scabious down to the ground in late autumn and they come back to life in spring although I find that they don't flower as well in the second year. 

    Not sure what the last pic is as I can't see it very well. 
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 5,981
    edited September 2020
    @steven.g.garner I've decided the best way to deal with salvia nemerosa (caradonna) is to cut them back to the base when the first flush of flowers is fading and as soon as they are starting to get a bit sprawly (usually beginning of July). They reshoot very quickly and 4 or 5 weeks later start showing lots of new flowering stems. 

    I think the second flush is more attractive than the first because the plant is slightly tidier and more compact second time around. I expect to have flowers until the end of Sept. I then cut them back again to about 3" during the autumn tidy up.

    That scabious may be a short lived perennial - I can only get 2 or 3 seasons in my heavy clay soil. I'd tidy it up by cutting back to the base. You may have some seedlings if you're lucky.

    Sorry - can't see what's in the 3rd pic.

    My favourite book for detailing best ways to manage perennials is 

    'The Well Tended Perennial Garden' by Tracy Disabato-Aust

    Lots of tips about how and when to cut back plants for extended flowering and to keep them looking good all season long. Vey practical and easy to read - highly recommended.
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • Thank you both!
  • rachelQrtJHBjbrachelQrtJHBjb South BucksPosts: 582
    Is the third plant a spindly Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve'? 

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