A plant is only worth growing if it looks good when it’s dead ~ Piet Oudolf
|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. Fading flowers take on a special beauty.
|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 flowers. 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.|
Where subtle beauty can be found in the smallest details. Where texture, form and shape open up a whole new ‘micro’ dimension to the late autumn and winter garden. You just need to look a little closer to see it!
|Physocarpus diablo seed heads shaped like little hexagons.|
Especially when they have a frosted sugar-like coating.
|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. Consequently hibernating insects will appreciate a hollow flower stem to keep warm in. While hungry birds feast on the seed heads. Especially on cold winter days.
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? Moreover 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).