Fading sunflowers remind me of Grandma’s old summer dresses hanging out to dry on a clothesline, faded by the sun. They have seen a better day.
On these late summer days, I walk through the garden deciding which flowers to deadhead and which to let fade to a lovely aged patina, befitting a fall garden.
How do I decide what to cut and what to leave alone?
At this point, I’m deadheading mostly to keep rampant self-sowers from making a mess for me to weed next spring. Other flowers I allow to slowly fade out, like those old-time sundresses.
My sunflowers? I’ll leave them. Even faded summer dresses, I mean flowers, have their purpose. The birds will come by and find the sunflower seeds in the fall and eat up as they make their journey south.