Sunday, January 3, 2016
Reasons to do nothing
There's a strong temptation to tidy up the garden in autumn, cutting down old flower stems and raking up all the leaves, but there are rewards for doing nothing.
One is that seed heads provide food for garden birds in autumn.
Another is that dead leaves and flowers can be incredibly beautiful after their soft tissues have rotted away, leaving only the veins that conducted water and sugars through them when they were alive. Our recent wet, mild autumn and winter have been particularly good at revealing these botanical skeletons.
These are the exquisitely skeletonised bracts of an Astrantia flower, that I spotted in our garden today.
Giant bellflower seed capsules
Two skeleton leaves
The seed capsule and bracts of henbane
Flower bracts of Hydrangea