As autumn slips sedately into winter and the colour disappears from the garden it is easy to overlook the subtle beauty of seed heads and dying flowers. There are many plants still sporting attractive seed heads and these are a wonderful legacy of their summer splendour . The colour palette of the garden at this time of year is one of less brilliant hues with texture and detail in abundance. With this in mind I tend not to dead head or cut perennials back.
But let them stay throughout the winter, self seeding and offering a food source for birds. Any debris that is left after the winter gets cleared away in the spring.
There is an extraordinary variety and delicacy in the seed heads at this time of year both in the garden and in the countryside.
Many of the seed heads look particularly good covered in frost or dew.
At this time of year grasses can be magical, especially if they are bathed in late afternoon sunlight. Varieties of miscanthus can glow with a radiance that I think is as good as anything in the garden earlier in the year.
The seeds pods of crocosmia " Lucifer" echo the arching shapes of the flowers.
The disintegrating structure of the opium poppy with the seeds long scattered..
The skeleton of the agapanthus flower with some of the black seeds still attached.
The seed pods of the Iris "chrysogrphes" or Black iris. These were left this year as decoration
The delicate beauty of the translucent seedhead of an astrantia flower.
Seed heads have a a much less flamboyant colourful beauty than the summer blooms but they do carry on the interest into the next season.