Real Gardeners Give Chelsea Flower Show the Chop

If you’re a real gardener then the chances are instead of hobnobbing it around the Chelsea flower show with the madding crowds, you will be spending a solitary afternoon on your knee pads preparing for a glorious late Summer of colourful Sedums in your Garden!

Giving Chelsea the Chop

This year I’m giving Chelsea the chop, with this mild Winter and late Spring false leading to a cool shower in May. The plants in the garden I manage have finally caught up and in need of support. Fortunately, with some fore-thought I had invested in some rather luxurious plant supports that are doing the trick and saving a lot of time with bamboo canes and garden twine.

Giving Chelsea the Chop

Not all perennials lend themselves to staking, preferring instead to flop over your garden path or neighbouring herbaceous plants without a second thought. Often these plants have lush vegetation and heavy flowers that the stems can simply not support , crashing to the floor under the weight of flowers and their buds.

Giving Chelsea the Chop

That why real gardeners are giving the Chelsea chop, typically associated with mid-May and around the time of the Chelsea flower show, careful removing a third of the lush rich growth of perennials like Sedums and newly classified Hylotelephiumencourages these stems to delay flowering. Instead of rushing to produce heavy flowering bracts the sedum concentrates it’s energy on producing multi-stemmed leafy shots which in time will develop flowering heads of their own.

Giving Chelsea the Chop

This selective pruning will delay flowering by a few weeks and give the plant a chance to produce a tighter, denser more rounded form capable of supporting the masses of flowers so loved by gardeners and butterflies alike.

Sedum Autumn Joy

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About Head Gardener 288 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

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