That's the beauty of gardening -- the melding of color with texture, hardscape with yard art, long-blooming botanical warriors with short-lived floral flibbertigibbets. It takes time -- and effort -- to arrive at the right balance of color and space.
But, recently, I discovered a new pay-off -- dead heading, or the process of picking off dead blooms to encourage new ones. I was dutifully flying through a perennial bed a few weeks back when I accidentally snipped off a healthy bud. I held it in my hand for a moment and, for the first time in a long time, actually looked carefully at a single flower in bloom.