MAY 16, 2012 9:22PM

Beheading time

Rate: 37 Flag

The time has come.
The daffodils have already been beheaded.  Now it's time for the tulips.
Seems such a shame.  They've budded and bloomed, put their sexiness out there...and some of them have mated, albeit by way of wind or bee.  Now seeds are developing.  Can't let that happen.  The idea is to prevent the plants from putting their energy into making seed and instead send it back down to the they'll display for us again next spring.
Here's a tulip awaiting the guillotine
dead tulip 
This tulip has another day or two left...
tulip dying
This one might ride out the week...
tulip live 
The miniature tulips are just starting.  For size, note the strawberry leaves behind them.
min tulip
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the garden - bee burying itself in goutweed bloom.
Solomon's seal.
sol seal 

Author tags:


Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Wow, I learned something!!! Thanks for sharing.
Tulips are better than one.
This is brutal! But I wouldn't expect anything less from you. Someday I'm going to do my own "pretty pretty posy" post featuring MY garden and the things I've planted with heaps of love. There'll be plenty o' pictures of growing, encroaching, buzzing, gnawing, parasitic things. Like thistle. And nettles. And tree fungus. Webworms. Emerald ash borers. Redroot pigweed. Crabgrass. Dandelions. Japanese beetles.

All the things that give me joy.
Sheila - deadheading: it's not just for airlines.

Algis - I would have taken my scanner out to the garden, but my extension cord is too short.

Margaret - All things in my garden, the wanted and the unwanted, are disappearing beneath the invincible army of goutweed. The oriental lillies are still coming up through tho, with their plague of beetles. I hired a local kid to go thru the garden with tweezers and a bowl of water. Hey, come to think of it, that's my next post. Those beetles are very photogenic.
Ah, yes beheading ... an interesting take on deadheading, as we call it in these parts. Hmm, goutweed, I know a few souls who could probably benefit from that. We've been enjoying the influx of the Red Admiral butterfly in these parts. One even took a break and landed on me. Their early arrival however is most likely the result of global warming. Bet there's some up your way too. Happy behead..., I mean gardening, Myriad.
If it's really about the seeds, couldn't you just castrate them instead?

I personally would find it more enjoyable.
Scarlett - a few of those butterflies here, but I hear great herds of them descended on Ottawa.

Amy - Easier just to have lesbian orchards of only-female pear trees or such.
Of all the places I expected this post to go, one I couldn't have predicted is that I'd learn that Amy wants to be a flower castrator when she grows up.
I loved this post~I have noticed that when cleaning up my four o'clocks in the fall the thick stems look like human bones.
I am convinced I would not make a good flower gardener. Next week I will post exactly why that might be. I never knew that's why all those tulip, snapdragon and other plants in some peoples' yards were always hacked down after a bit. I always thought it was mean prankster kids or jealous neighbors or something.

Very nice photos, Myriad!

do your tulips stay year after year (the big ones?)
I always let mine go to seed, which could be why I have to thin them out now...
Guess it's time to sit in my rocker and knit whilst the royal beauties are led to the guillotine...
Tulips are great flowers.

I'm on golf courses every day...and in the wooded areas alongside the fairways, bulbs of tulips have managed to take hold. Probably thrown there when areas of flowers have been torn up during redesigns that take place. Seeing them in spring where you wouldn't expect them...and where you have to wonder about how they got pure pleasure.

They are fleeting, but one of the joys of each year.

Great pix, Miriad.
So this is where you've been....gazing at flowers. What a beautiful garden. Goutweed doesn't sound so pretty though. You will be yanking that?
Beheading sounds vicious for such pretty maids all lined up in a row....
But they are started to look a little blousey...
Whew! Not what I expected from the title. Thought it might have something to do with harvesting spring lambs. Go ahead and snip those flowers but leave the lambies alone. R
This is great and, I, too, learned here today. Thank you! r.
Those are amazing bees. Ahh the birds and the bees. Make the world go round. Thanks for this piece!
I like your title, and I like Mission's comment. Thanks to Just Thinking for teaching some of us that word. :) ~r
I had no idea you cut their head off like the Queen of Hearts.:)
Could be a fulfilling project on some days..:)
i don't have any spring bulbs like tulips out here in the arid sage scrub, but i am more than familiar with lopping off the fat flowers on my roses, especially the ones that bloom on long canes and drag them into the walkways. ruthless beheading - makes for more new buds and a longer bloom time. i've perfected my mercilessness! :)
I can just see you saying imperiously, "Off with their heads!" I'm not much of a gardener. The only things that grow there are going to do it without my "help"!
That reminds me, I need to clip off the dead new growth on my poor Oleander. I had chopped it back, and it had lots of new growth. Then came the Oleander caterpillars. It looks like coleslaw! --- and those damned caterpillars don't even grow into butterflies! They're wasps.
My lonesome tulip near the edge of the street beheaded itself... the dogwoods are still in full bloom.
I had no idea such a thing had to be done. Poor tulips!
Tulips are my favorites but their season is way too short!
what a fab post to visit OS again ....thnx! see that you have build up a great set of friends who appreciate the wondrous things of life and nature... Much love ...stay well !
Very nice pictures and neat title!
Pleasantly misleading title, Myriad. Lovely photos. Is goutweed also known as nettle? They spread with wild abandon in my yard back home.
Kosh - The comment section brings out the strange in people sometimes.

Miguela - stems as bones...

Dun - Deadheading is good for annuals too - encourages them to keep putting out new blooms.

Julie - They last many years, but eventually wear out

Phyllis - You get lotsa new tulips from seed?

Linnn - Beauty is brief....die young and leave a beautiful corpse, as they say

Frank - So fleeting, yes, but this wonderful burst of color out of the dun ground after the long winter...

Greenheron - the goutweed is wonderful....until suddenly you realize you've been overrun.

Erika - I always feel a little guilty...

Mission - haha, reference to recent blowsy post?

Gerald - I was being a bit naughty with the title. I know people who do the lambies, but no way for me!

Jonathan - Happy to be of help!
Zanelle - with the news about trouble that bees are in, it was great to see the goutweed buzzing and quivering...

Joan - there should be an Open Call for posts using That Word

Linda - snip!snip! Instead of feeling guilty, I should think of some faces to put on those heads...

Candace - Mercilessness is essential for the successful gardener! (I fail, ultimately...)

ccdarling - a lot of my gardening consists of letting the invasives battle it out. (Thus the goutweed.)

Kenny - oleander caterpillars: that just flows off the tongue. My current plague is lily beetles.

jmac - some of them just shrivel up, unfertilized, spurned (instead of spermed), and just fall off on their own...

Alysa - not just tulips, but most blooms. Poor plants just trying to make seed, but we're mostly interested in the flowers.

Painting - Indeed, their time is so short. But they and the daffodils are the first real color around here, and we look forward to them. Now that they're dying but other things are on the verge...

Major - can't beat nature!

Hi Traveller! Have you been travelling? I have built up a modest following, but a misleading titillating title will bring in the crowd.

Kanuk - Title somewhat...misleading...

Fusun - not sure if goutweed is also known as nettle. I usually associate the name nettle with stinging nettle, which will spread with wild abandon if allowed - great swathes of it beyond the garden...
I love tulips....great title. Thought I was getting into some time management. Grateful for tulips instead. :-)
The question from me is, "Do you whisper into their cold lifeless ears after beheading them?"

What? :D
Lovely. I must get out to the backyard and commit some violence.
This is so cool. I have a black thumb and kill everything. My son is trying to start a little garden and I can't figure out which things are weeds and which are the seeds he planted. Should we just let everything come up and see what is what?
Cool - I have Solomon's Seal in my yard too, and False Solomon's Seal too, which looks only superficially like the real thing. Regarding tulips, they don't do that good here; the winters aren't hard enough or something, alas, though yours are very nice. Your goutweed's not as ugly as I thought it was from the name.
Like Sheila TGTG55, i too learned something from your post today! No wonder my daffodil patch shrank over the past two seasons!Thanks!
Lovely photos. I miss my tulips already, but the snaps are in bloom, looking sweet and fresh, so that's all right.
Happy Spring weather where you are!