Katherine Whiteside: Hi! I am Katherine Whiteside, the author of six garden books and a volunteer for the National Gardening Association. Today I am at Oatlands in Leesburg, Virginia to tell you how to refresh your midsummer garden. One of the quickest ways to perk up your patch is to go through early morning with a pair of scissors or a little pair of pruners and snip off all the blossoms that have gone past their moment of glory.
Leave a few seed heads to spread seeds for next year. When it comes to your perennials, definitely snip back the old and dead flowers down to the foliage, which is shiny and beautiful. When you start cutting back the old things from your garden you will notice that you have a few holes here and there, head-on down to the plant center and pick up some petunias or some cosmos and plump those right in. Just make sure you water them for a couple of days until they are established. They will bring color to your garden until late fall. Early blooming scrubs like forsythia and spirea can be cut back right after they bloom and they will send up new foliage, which looks beautiful. Old perennials like iris and peonies can also be cut back, because their foliage looks beautiful in the midsummer garden.
The middle of summer can be harsh in your garden so keep these tips in mind and you will have colorful beautiful flowers for the rest of the season.