Dame’s rocket or Hesperis. The bees still love them. They still smell lovely in the evening. They’re still making flowers. And, this afternoon before the big rain, I even saw an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly swooping down for a sip.
But they’re taking over. Despite, or perhaps because of, the perpetual flower-making machine at the tips of the stems, they’re getting taller and spindlier; reaching out, falling over and flopping on top of everything.
Yet, it’s so hard to be ruthless and cut them back.
The catnip, too. My Nepeta mussinii would be assisted into a second round of bloom if I only had the guts to give the plants a good shearing back. Off would come the spent flowering spikes.
But the other ones, the ones nearly in bloom, they would come off, too, and wouldn’t it be better to wait? Just a little?
Ruthless, I am not. Not usually.
At least, not until today, when I took a deep breath, took out my clippers and lopped off most of the Dame’s rocket at the knees.
With hope, after the plants that were being smothered have finished their turn – white daylilies and orange Echinacea and that cute little purple-leaved Geranium pratense ‘Okey Dokey’ – the dames will have sent up round two.
With hope. I think I feel the guilt needles already.