The Bare Bones ….

I am not a tidy gardener and I leave all sorts of plants to die back naturally. I like their muted colours as they fade (particularly grasses) and enjoy encouraging wildlife to hibernate in the garden. Plants are left alone until it becomes necessary to prune/clip in order to prevent damage (eg roses for wind-rock) or ultimately when they become just too messy. Nevertheless, when the spring bulbs start to show it marks the time for a complete clean up everywhere. (OK, there are one or two exceptions, like hardy fucshias that shouldn’t be pruned until the worst frosts are over).

Bells of Ireland - skeletonised

Bells of Ireland, Molucella laevis skeletonised bract

As I tidy I gather any sound, attractive stems and seed heads for indoor displays. In fact, the seed heads of many plants are nearly as attractive as the flower. Some great seed heads regrettably don’t make it even to the winter season in the garden here. Nigella (far too delicate) and Honesty are blown over by October/November, torn apart by the South Westerlies. If I am lucky, some of the seed heads will have skeletonised nicely. Classic examples of this are: Poppies, Asphodeline, the Shoo-fly plant and Bells of Ireland. They make pretty, rustic Christmas displays.

asphodeline seedheads

The skeletonisation of Asphodeline lutea

Plants with more robust stems, like Teasel, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Verbascum (bombyciferum), make great winter sihouettes and look lovely clothed in frost or snow. However, my absolute favourite for the long haul is the globe artichoke (Cynara scolymus). There may be occasional losses to storms, but most of the stems are sufficiently strong to take the weathering. This photo (below) was taken today. Yes, it is still standing tall and looking glorious in the spring sun, but the thistle heads will also look fantastic in a vase tomorrow.

Artichoke Seedhead

Glorious globe artichoke seedheads

About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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