Friday, September 11, 2009

Live Heading

I'm sure you've heard of Dead-Heading - the process of cutting off spent blooms to increase re-blooming (or to prevent seedlings from popping up all over your garden next year) but Live -Heading might be a new term. That's because I just made it up.

My lovely Bronze Fennel is too big for the spot I placed it (I changed my garden plan, a frequent occurrence here On The Edge) so I was contemplating where to move it. I was discussing this with The Husband and mentioned that it was attracting lots of yellow jackets and that needed to be a consideration. The Husband is allergic to bee stings and we have learned to work around bees and wasps without getting stung but yellow jackets are aggressive and are one of the very few species not welcome in my garden. The Husband asked if maybe I could just take the plants out completely. I'm considering his request (I want to keep him) and in the meantime I went out after dusk and removed the active blooms. I'm calling this Live-Heading.

The yellow jacket have dispersed to I know not where (my other plants don't seem to attract them like the fennel did) and peace has been restored. Now I just need to decide what to do with the plants themselves - move and constantly live head or compost. Fortunately Bronze Fennel isn't rare or expensive so to the compost heap with these plants and maybe next year I'll find a spot The Husband never visits in the yard for this beautiful plant.


  1. Hi Diana -- I just read your comment on my blog and I'm so happy to know there's another garden blogger in our area (we are sadly few and far between)!

    I think MayDreams Gardens had a blog posting on "liveheading" -- she does it to her daylilies.

    So sorry to hear about the allergy situation. It sounds like you're going to be buying more plants for foliage rather than flower, hah!

  2. Actually I do manage to plant lots of butterfly attracting plants (which also attract bees and wasps), we are just careful about where the plants go and I watch for wasp nests, bee nests and the aggressive yellow jackets. With all our precautions The Husband has yet to be stung in our yard and I have been able to support most species of pollinators feeding and nesting.

    About Boston area blogs - I think if you and I were to bump into each other at Kane's we could call it a meeting of North Shore Garden Bloggers!