"In early summer, we'd cut back the spring flowers, after they were spent. That was harvest number one. Then when the irises and poppies faded, we'd have another harvest for the compost pile." A final cleanup in late fall got the yard tidy for winter.
These days Kay keeps up the stunning flower show on her own, thanks to time-saving tricks that reduce tedious chores such as weeding, watering, and deadheading. To minimize weeds, she makes sure plants cover all the tilled soil, since exposure to sunlight is what triggers many weed seeds to sprout. She plants her late-summer flowers in the springtime, tucking transplants in among the spring bulbs while they are still blooming. To ensure that each transplant will grow into a mound that touches its neighbors in all directions, she plants densely, often in zigzag rows.
Shown: Reds, oranges, and yellows mix with hot pinks and purples in this showy late-summer garden.