It's July which means it's Hampton Hack season (named in tribute to the Hampton Court Flower Show).
At this time of year many early summer perennials are running out of steam, with flowers finished and leaves looking grotty. The good news is that the correct pruning will give you a second chance to enjoy fresh growth & new flowers in the same season!
For Penstemons, Phygelius (cape fuchsia) and woody-stemmed Salvias, such as 'Hot Lips', you are looking to cut the plant back by half - but only once the first flowers are finishing.
Following the shearing give your plants a drink and a multipurpose feed to boost them into second growth. You will be surprised at how quickly you are looking at beautiful flowers and healthy leaves again!
The Salvia nemerosa bed looked lovely in June ...
But was looking tired by July, with most of the colour drained out ...
So it got Hampton Hacked, and there is now a second flowering to look forward to!
Other perennials which can be cut back hard once the first flowers start to fade include:
Acanthus (bear's breeches)
Alchemilla (lady's mantle)
Centaurea (perennial cornflower)
Gaillardia (blanket flower)
Monarda (bee balm)
Oenothera (evening primrose)
Phlox paniculata types
Polemonium (jacob's ladder)
Head to the Katie's Garden YouTube channel for tutorials: click here. Videos starring Bridge Farm Plants manager Catherine McMillan!