Every morning before the conservatory opens, the gardening staff are hard at work making sure the plants on display in the public areas are sufficiently watered, fertilized or otherwise cared for. Staff work independently or with other horticultural staff in our various display gardens. Today, some of the oriental lilies in the Sunken Garden were replaced with more oriental lilies because the flowers on the older plants had faded. Horticulture staff are often accompanied by volunteers that help keep the gardens looking good by dead-heading spent flowers. In horticulture, faded flowers are called spent flowers and the removal of spent flowers is called dead-heading.
In order to care for the flowering plants in the sunken garden, old and faded flowers are removed along with broken plants that are damaged by daily traffic from visitors or events such as weddings. Old flowers are removed not only in order to maintain an aesthetically pleasing garden but also to promote the production of additional flowers on a plant. Plants put a lot of energy into producing flowers and seed. When old flower structures remain on a plant, they may develop seeds and as a result may stop producing many new flower buds. Try this on geraniums and petunias.