Posted: 25/06/2016 at 14:42
Joyce - re the Hampton Hack - it's just a major cut back and tidy up session!
For me it's a case of a good clear out of all the stuff which was looking so good a month ago but has now gone over & is looking ratty-tatty & overgrown - all the late spring / early summer flowerers - aquilegia, honesty, hesperis, some geraniums, bulb leaves etc etc.
It leaves space for summer plants, tidies every thing up and provides lots and lots of stuff for the compost bin (usually shredded with the lawn mower). It's also an opportunity for a good weed & dead heading before some summer planting.
End of June / beginning of July is when it seems to need doing - ie around the time of the Hampton Court Show. As you say, most of have been doing it for years without giving it a name
The Chelsea Chop is all about stopping plants to delay flowering or promote bushier growth - the Hampton Hack is more about regaining a semblance of order in the garden
Much needed in mine
The cats look very at home in the greenhouse Wonky - Flatters has turned into a handsome fella with a bit of TLC hasn't he?