Fading flowers and seed heads receive little attention or accolade though under the right conditions they can be seen as delicate little sculptures gracing the borders.
They have a quality that is really only unlocked when the late autumn sun exhales its warm breath over their fading petals.
Where decay can be embraced as a thing of beauty and accepted as a natural progression in the course of nature.
|Rudbeckia with glowing petals (taken with lensbaby optics)|
There are the occasions when the bland, the beige and the translucent turn golden on a frosty November morning.
|the first glints of morning sunlight on Hydrangea 'Phantom'|
|Astrantia major with a silhouette of seeds casting their shadow over the thin papery like remains of petals.|
|Hydrangea 'Phantom' fading gloriously. As one friend said - the flower that keeps on giving!|
|Humulus lupus with its dry golden hops.|
|Sedum 'Rose Carpet' glowing despite having no flowers.|
|Physocarpus diablo seed heads shaped like little hexagons.|
|Euonymus alatus 'Compactus' seed head - never prolific and always few in number.|
|A friend called this a Rudbeckia entropy a few weeks ago illustrating orderly to disorderly.|
|Eryngium is always the first plant to feel the warm rays of the sun in my winter back garden. It should come with a health and safety warning - Beware of sharp edges!|
I'm never quick to cut down stems in the autumn. Hibernating insects will appreciate a hollow flower stem to keep warm in. While hungry birds will always enjoy a few seeds when the ground is covered in snow or heavy frost.
Piet Oudolf may have just been saying in jest that a plant is only worth growing if it looks good when it's dead. But how many of us really appreciate the beauty of late autumn fading into winter? How many of us even venture out any further than the bird feeders to see it?
What are your favourite seed heads or fading flowers in the garden?
You can view more of my Perthshire Autumn images "The Spirit of Autumn" in the December issue of Fotodigital (click here to view online).
Thanks for stopping by today and I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments section.
Interested in this topic? You might enjoy another article called: