It’s not enough that our generous plants provide bloom, foliage, scent – many also offer enchanting seed heads to extend their show. Seed heads add drama and detail to augment the tapestry of the garden. They often parade into winter capturing snow, feeding birds and offering interest for our winter garden souls. Above are four of my most cherished and enjoyed seed heads: the ‘Dr.Seuss hair-do’ from clematis, the whirly fluff from pasque flower, the exquisite detail from poppies, and the riotous spheres from allium. And my favourite seed head list is long, also including: coneflowers, money plant, false lupine, chinese lanterns, astilbe, grasses, the platters of sedum and yarrow, and beloved milkweed. (Read more about clematis by clicking here, about pasque flower by clicking here, poppy seed heads by clicking here, and alliums by clicking here.)
The poppy seed head is intricately, incredibly, perfectly lovely. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding if I like the poppy bloom or seed head better. The plump globular seed vessels are topped by a petite fleur top hat, that protects the holes where seeds escape. In nature’s amazing way, as the seed head dries, the mini hats curve upwards to expose the seed release holes. Once dry, I wave about these magic wand stems to scatter the seeds, 'planting' where I would like next year’s poppy patch. This works best for annual peony poppies (papaver paeoniflorum), that self-seed so happily. The seed heads then make an exquisite addition to bouquets or dried arrangements, or for me, make a sweet bouquet all on their own!