It’s not only what you plant but how you care for your plants that encourages blooming through the season. Now is the time for a mid-season clean up in your garden. You need to look at beds and borders, containers and hanging baskets with a critical eye. Keeping your garden looking its best means removing fading and spent flowers, as well as cleaning up leaves, branches and debris. Most annuals and perennials do their best when you remove fading blooms early, before they begin to form seeds. In gardening terms it’s called deadheading, which simply means pruning off the old flowers. This keeps the garden neat and promotes additional blooms as well. Get in the habit of deadheading while you walk through your garden. It’s easy to carry a pair of light pruners with you as you make your rounds. Stems and leaves can get damaged or wear out through the course of the season. Now’s the time to remove them. The lower parts of veronica and salvia can really look bad this time of year. Prune them hard and they will come back strong by fall.