Ladies and gentlemen, grab your pruners

Not far from here, but far enough from here, there's a race taking place in Indianapolis.

It's the Indy 500 race, of course, and it always takes place on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.

No matter where you are in the city, you can't help but see signs of this big sporting event.  Everywhere you go, there are black and white checkered race flags,  banners proclaiming "Welcome Race Fans",  and souvenirs for sale.

Memorial Day weekend, whether it is early or late as it is this year, is also a big weekend in my garden.  It's when spring ends and summer begins. It's when I want to have all the spring planting finished.

It all starts the minute they sing "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the race. I always tune in to the radio to hear it live. That's the official start of summer here and I don't want to miss it.

Then when they announce "Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines" at the start of the race, all I hear is "Gardeners, start your pruning". It's time now to cut back fall bloomers like goldenrod, asters, and mums. This will encourge them to grow more lateral shoots and more flower buds for more fall blooms.  I usually cut them back to about half their height.

Just like the drivers, I take lots of pit stops in my garden, but they last longer than those during the race  I am liberal with pit stops for drinks, snacks, and a bit of rest between the various gardening activities.

After today's race around the garden, thing should slow up a bit and I'll spend the summer pottering about, tweaking the garden as I go.  I look forward to it after this race of May, this race to get everything planted up and ready for summer.


  1. A very clever post. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It does feel like summer today. Let the race begin.

  2. Yes Carol - your garden looks very pretty and I agree. I am racing before the really hot and humid weather in Missouri. I can feel it coming today!

  3. You inspired me by reminding me I can take pit stops before they become necessities. It sounds so much more civilized. I'm going to try it right now.

  4. I have indeed grabbed my pruners, and have taken frequent pit stops. Yet I still don't seem to manage finishing my long list of garden chores! But then again, the Master Gardeners will be holding a meeting at home. Talk about peer pressure! Now there's some people to impress with, so I'd best get back to it.

  5. Aha, you are an advocate of the 'Chelsea Chop' !! Your starting pistol is the Indy 500 , and ours is the Chelsea Flower show. Both are good reminders to get those loppers out and start chopping !

  6. I like the idea of having a specific start to summer, tied to a local event. The only event that jumped into my mind, as I read your post, isn't local but it still might work for me - the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home" right before the Kentucky Derby. A fun question to think about as I garden!

    Now, if I can just make myself prune back my fall bloomers..... Every year I tell myself I'm going to do it THIS year, but I just can't seem to make myself do it, despite knowing that it will be of great benefit to the plants.

  7. One of the favorite plants for gardeners to grow is the tomato plant. Whether you grow traditional red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes or the more exotic yellow, orange or tiger tomatoes, they are a firm favorite. Being relatively easy to grow and tolerant of neglectful gardeners, they are a great plant to have in your garden.


  8. I would have thought that was late, and I was feeling guilty for not having done it yet.
    After reading this, I can relax and lose the guilt :-)
    What about bearded iris? First of July?



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