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rambling on . . . about an autumn dilemma

Picture this  - a border – full of pink petalled flowers with ferny leaves and tight shiney buds being tossed about in the autumn winds like a ship on the ocean with rain-spoilt petals that droop and wither.


Should they be brutally ripped out at their roots in a fever of border clearance to make way for new plants eager to get out of their small pots – or left to die a graceful death when the first frosts arrive.

Oh – the misery of indecision.


  1. A dilemma certainly depends how urgent the other planting is. If you take them up cut off all the flowers and buds to enjoy on a vase.

  2. I am taking the path of less effort on this very same dilemma.

  3. Oh goodness, a dilemma indeed. Could you lift the best plants carefully and transplant temporarily into a big pot, just to enjoy the last flowers?

  4. I believe I would leave them for a while longer. They do look beautiful and for me, a last link with summer!

  5. I have the same dilemma this week. I look at my Cosmeas every day, they still have lots of flowers, but the stems are almost laying on the ground by rain and wind. They are still there but not for along. It is always so difficult to decide when to take the Dahlias outof the soil and when to pull the annuals out. They all give still some flowers, but when I wait any longer, it is certainly not appealing to me to work outside when it is chilly, grey and wet.

  6. I say let them pass away peacefully when the first frost arrive :)

  7. I've found you!.... I've already taken mine out, and they are on the compost. Some of the seeds always survive, so I need never re-sow. They grow in amongst my vegs.

  8. That is a dilemma of most gardeners. It is so hard to pull out flowering plants, but time moves on and new ones are waiting in the wings.

  9. That would probably have me humming and hawing as to what to do but I think that I'd wait just a while longer. Flighty xx

  10. I hate this dilemma, I usually wait until the frost gets them!
    Sarah x

  11. Ah, they're too pretty to pull up until the last flowers fade or the stems and leaves turn brittle and fade...

  12. I seem to have a unspoken wish to leave them where they choose to seed we bunch up on one side of the patio..and they luxuriate in the space that they have claimed.


  13. Way too pretty to lift! let them waft while they can, besides, there is so much to do in the garden at this time of year, I would always err on the side of laziness...

  14. I had a somewhat similar dilemma with two rosemary plants. They aren't hardy here, so they have to come into the warm house or perish. The problem is they are quite large and I only have one small sunny window ledge. So in the end I decided on cuttings and am going to leave the large mother plants in the garden where they will certainly perish. It's pretty silly, but I feel guilty!

  15. And even more of a dilemma this year, as autumn seems to be very late. Most of the leaves are still green and there's no sign of frost yet...

  16. Nooooo ... don't move them ... they're so pretty!


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