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I have done the "dig up to reduce vigour" thing.  I found the resultant plants, unless done in autumn, produced small size and fewer flowers.  Cutting back summer perennials now and for next month or so produces sturdy growth from a root system that's well established.  

Woodgreen wonderboy

It's 4 weeks to the open gardens event in my village... no way am I chopping anything now.. unless I hit my foot in my panic to get everything done!!

I chop my salad greens, rocket etc.  It's getting leggy now, running to seed and being eaten by flea beetles, so its harvesting value is almost over.  I chop really low and it shoots again in just a few days.  This year I have also chopped some a bit higher to see what that yields.  This also works with swiss chard.

Woodgreen wonderboy

Thanks Sheila. shall try this  too. My Swiss Chard was chopped by deer some time ago, and now it is really good!!

I normally chop Sedum this week, but I'm leaving it a little longer. I was taking some photos yesterday and realised how far behind the plants are. Last year at this time, the Irises, Poppies, Alliums, clematis were all flowering. Now, they're only just  in bud.

It snowed this afternoon 


I'm going to try chopping my Rudebeckia ' herbstonne ' this year-- as last year it grew to about 6 ft.! It also needs thinning out , hopefully thend week end-- if it does'nt rain -- or snow!


When I remember, I chop my Herbstonne as it grows very tall. I find it's also rather rampant and I have to chop it's roots back. I have another very tall rudbeckia, Hortensia, which is also better for the chop and has double flowers.

I normally do the Sedum and the White Phlox but this year the Sedum is still very small although I will do the Phlox, maybe next week or so.

Two years ago my Clematis alpina got the 'Chelsea scalp' and came back the next year bigger and better than ever.

I was worried that it would not recover but it's still thriving and flowering well - so far, so good.

Must say I only 'scalped' because the plant had become unsightly and I wanted to move it away from the drainpipe it






It is in a sunny position, in a large pot, just under the kitchen window, has been there for about six years and seems quite happy.



Does anyone have care advice for Clematis alpina? I am wondering if I 

should repot the plant after it finishes flowering this year, or leave it alone?

I do about half of my various heleniums to ensure there are fresh flowers over a longer span. But there are nowhere NEAR ready as only 3 inches high due to cold and usually around chelsea are at least a foot bigger. Surely most chops will need to be 2-4 weeks after chelsea this year (which then makes it a little more risky unless we have a correspondingly long growing season ...?)


If I chopped anything now there would be nothing left! I have done it in the past with various perennials but as we have a later season up here anyway I would only do it if plants were big and bushy and, like you kester, I tend to do half the plant rather than all of it.

Alison Shillingford

I chop half my white phlox and pink phlox and helleniums. Fantastic results - flowers right through summer!


The weather in Enfield this spring has been the beginning of April we had a flurry of SNOW and the last two weeks of April it was blazing HOT..since then its been quite wet and as I speak it's absolutely piddling down for the Chelsea chop..well I'll leave all that hard work to you younger folks..I just give my plot a good old fashioned HAIRCUT every spring and a good clear up..and it looks smashing....Happy Gardening you lovely people.


Also,have you had a look in those 99p stores (Andy the scientist)They've got decorative metal flower supports,and although they're a bit twee(butterflies and frogs etc etc)they're fine for the job and would blend in very quickly...aaaannnnd they're only 99p each...Happy gardening.

I chop my sedums every year & tried it on my phlox last year with great results.



Always chop the sedums which seems to work well. Think I read somewhere it can be done to Heleniums, it would be good to reduce their height a bit, does anyone know if this can be done say in a couple of weeks when they are a bit bigger ?

Last year I was too busy for Chelsea Chop so it was the Hampton Hack.  Have done sedums for years, and rudbeckia, haven't tried heleniums but in view of other comments will try this year.  I have done aster amellus but it is so late this year I don't think I'll bother.  BTW I believe it was Geoff Hamilton who advocated the 'bent wire' thingy when he did GW.


Jaybee, regarding the bent wire thingy that I wrote about on page 1, I first got it from Alan Titchmarch, years ago, when he did GW.

Monty includes clumps of Geranium/Cranesbill in the Chelsea Chop - this year my geraniums are so late they have not flowered yet!

Yes, everything is so late this year that I wonder whether it will be wise to do a chelsea chop because we may not get any flowers at all then!