Not a sliding tackle by a Chelsea forward.

Nor even how to slice through the crowds at the eponymous flower show with that gesture of raised forearm and sideways slice of the hand which Italian drivers use to indicate that you mess with them at your peril!.

Rather a way of bringing your herbaceous perennials to heal early in their growth cycle, at Chelsea Flower Show time to be precise, and making them flower, flower, flower.

Three weeks ago to the day, we removed about 30cm of top growth from this violet form of Campanula lactiflora with the garden shears. Dramatic and quite satisfying.

Why would we do such a thing?

Campanula lactiflora’ s one weakness from our point of view is its lax habit. Our viciousness has made it shorter and neater and it won’t need to be staked:

Its heart in the mouth stuff because what about the flowering potential?

Worry not.

‘I will return and I will be millions!’ said Bolivian rebel, Tupac Katari as he faced execution by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 18th century.

And our Campanula has made much the same sort of decision:

Not millions maybe, but certainly hundreds of tiny flowering shoots cluster around and below the cut off points. It will flower its proverbial socks!

But it will also do this at a reduced height and slightly later – so no tedious staking faff and a pleasure forestalled and heightened.

Does life get any sweeter?

So we give you The Chelsea Chop:

Do you?

Should you?

Could you? 

Nigel Colborn writing for the Daily Mail gives an excellent account of the procedure:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/gardening/article-1282667/Cut-benefit-later-Chop-stems-late-spring-remarkable-results.html#ixzz0qxscIRVp

Plants to try it on:

Sedums

Rudbeckias

Echinaceas

Asters

Heleniums

Hardy Geraniums

If it scares you to death, try just one of a group of plants and see how it responds and with this information you can do more or less the next year.

CHOP CHOP!!!!!!!!!!

Lesley and Robert

Advertisements