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Seed to Seed: The Secret Life of Plants

Seedheads, Glorious Seedheads

A plant is only worth growing if it looks good when it is dead." - Piet Oudolf, Dutch garden designer

Here we are in the throes of a new spring season, and most of us have our sights set on only the blooms of spring. We look for the perfect color and color combinations to add to our gardens, exciting new varieties to try, and perhaps give thought to choosing plants that will last through the heat of summer into the cooling of fall. Some of us think only in terms of planting perennials, so that we do not have to plant so much each spring to achieve the glory of each season. But, how many of us consider the appearance of those same plants in the autumn and winter?

One of our new books, Seedheads, does just that, and if you accept the premise of the quote (above, and this is a stretch for most of us…), this book is for you. If you garden, you already know the magic of a seed: give it a little soil, water, and sun, and creation happens. But, if you've studied the seed heads of poppies, clematis, and irises, you know what incredible structures some seeds develop in. Noel Kingsbury, the author of Seedheads, argues that "seedheads of herbaceous plants can also make a substantial contribution to the overall visual impact of a garden or other planted space from mid-autumn to the end of winter-and as such should be regarded as a major source of material for the planting designer." The author gardens in England, so you won't recognize every plant featured, but you will recognize many, such as Russian sage, Rudbeckia, Scabiosa, Sedum, and others. Some seed heads, in various stages of development, are beautiful in either fresh or dried arrangements. Look ahead to winter when planting to give a delightfully new dimension to your garden.

 


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