Enjoying Form and Beauty of Dying Plants

Dead Toad Lily

Dead or alive, I love Toad Lilies.

In my earlier gardening years, I would prune back plants as soon as they started to die. I don’t do that anymore.

Dead Liatris

Liatris is my favorite dead flower that holds its form and seeds for months.

Three years ago, I read an article on the New York Times website about a Dutch landscape architect who made the point that you need to make dead plants a part of your garden. His name didn’t stick with me, but the concept did.

I stopped cutting back most perennials as they die off. I started finding beauty in the form of dying plants, especially in late fall when most fade from green to brown. Admittedly, I still cut back some perennials that loose form quickly after death. I can’t stand moldy Hostas in November.

Having worked in agriculture for a decade, I understand the importance of dead plants to a garden. The seeds feed hungry birds, plant residue protects soil from erosion, and roots are protected from freezing weather. It’s natural composting that promotes soil tilth.

Now when I add a plant, I think about its form and how it will look when my garden fades. Dead plants are a part of my garden.

Dying Coreopsis

The gold coloring and shape of dying Coreopsis is beautiful in November.

About Havicom

I am a communications professional.
This entry was posted in Garden and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s