I cleared out a spot in the Purple-and-Gold bed to plant the Chrysanthemum superbum ‘Polaris’ daisies that my friend Bub gave me. These were daisies that I had bought from White Flower Farm several years ago and had shared with her. Subsequently they died out on me, so she graciously shared them back. Since having them die out on me, I learned that Shasta daisies must be deadheaded religiously or they die out. I think I read somewhere else that they must be divided frequently or they die out, but I read that so often about asters that I wonder if I’m just getting it mixed up with that. Since I am neither a religious deadheader or divider, it’s really all the same in the end. With a lot of plants there’s no harm in not deadheading except a certain untidy look in the garden, and if there’s seeds you’re wanting from a plant, it’s imperative that you don’t deadhead. I need to learn which ones really need to be deadheaded, so I can stop losing plants from neglect.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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