Safari Sunday – Dying Well

Inspired by Janet’s blog over at Plantalicious I turned my attention to the dead foliage of plants around the garden.

Doing this I’ve learnt that I don’t actually really have much in the way of interesting dead plants… I have a few asters and Sea Holly which seem to be the best for dead interest. Some grasses also look very nice dead – especially those with broad blades.

We’ll start with the flat-topped Aster, its fluffy heads are long-gone but I find it still quite pretty regardless.



Pheasant’s Tail grass which survived last winter even though it isn’t fully hardy… It hasn’t done very well this year so I’m wondering whether to chop it all back and see if it manages to produce more fresh growth next year.


This grass doesn’t look so nice, dead. Panicum virgatum ‘Rehbraun’.

Aster ‘Lady in Black’ still has her fluffy heads, she doesn’t look as pretty as the Flat-topped Aster, but the fluffy heads are rather nice regardless.

This Lavender should’ve been cut back, I’m a bit concerned now that it’ll get too woody…

I really need to have more Lliatris around the garden, there’s only the one small clump and since they’re so loved by Bees, I ought to have more!

Copyright 2011 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden.

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20 thoughts on “Safari Sunday – Dying Well

  1. Stunning photos again. I cut my Pheasant’s tail grass back this spring and it has been fine, producing a super plant once more. Nice crisp seedheads bring a structural quality to the garden, unfortunately ours usually collapse in a soggy mess !

    • Hi Pauline,

      Thanks very much 😀 I read some instructions on caring for the Pheasant’s tail grass which stated just to run your fingers through to remove growth. But I think I wil chop it to the ground and hope its ok… either that or divide it and see if that works.

      Most of our plants have also gone, but the odd few more structural plants like the Asters, Verbenas and Veronicastum do remain upright.

    • Hi Donna,

      I think in this case I forgot about the Lavender because I’d already cut it back and then it produced another flush of stems. So they were all blooming rather late into the year.

      A year or two ago I did actually plant some more Liatris, but none of them came up! Not entirely sure why… I think there were around 20/30 of them planted when I created the ‘Aster’ border.

    • Hi Tatyana,

      I’d like to see snow on them too… But I don’t want it to last too long, just long enough that I can get some photos then it can all melt! 😀

      Hope you have a lovely christmas too, it’s been so cold recently and today I’d barely been able to get warm… Well cold, but actually not that cold it just feels it but I know compared to some places at the moment, the temperatures are almost tropical! lol.

  2. Love this post! Seriously…so great! This is my first year with Pheasant’s Tail Grass…it looks quite nice right now…but we’ll see what it looks like after a few months! I’ve read that they are sort of short-lived…time will tell, I guess 🙂

    • Hi Scott,

      I hadn’t read it was short-lived??! Well, I guess it being half hardy would mean it’s short-lived, yes. But it does also readily self seed around and I’ve a few clumps that have appeared in various places and I’ve transplanted some into pots to try to over-winter them and perhaps have them reach maturity. So if they do survive then it isn’t too much of a loss! Although I have some-what given up on them once I discovered they are not fully hardy in the UK. If they survive; all the better but I will not be replacing them if they don’t.

    • Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for visting me 🙂
      I am on flickr, although rarely use it… Generally because you have to pay to be able to upload more than 20 photos, which is just not worth it.

  3. Hey Liz! Lovely post, the first pictures are amazing.
    Try to invert the colours on the panicum picture, it will look fantastic!
    cmd+i on photoshop or cmd+alt+ctrl+8 on your mac. I discover colours I couldn’t see before: like the blue on panicum, it means there are some red on the original picture that I haven’t noticed…
    Am I crazy? 🙂

    • Hi,

      There’s a definitely sense of melancholy to everything, but there is also some beauty – usually when frost or snow is around! I’m going to have a look around the garden this weekend and see if anything else has popped up – snowdrops for example!

    • Hi OMS,

      I can’t wait until the sun is a little higher and I’m able to get some nice sunny, dead plant photos… These were so dull I’ve had to mess with the curves quite a lot to lighten the background, but the images overall are still quite grey and dull.

    • Hi Anna,

      Thank you very much 🙂

      I hope you also have a lovely Christmas; I still can’t quite believe it’s tomorrow!!!! Eeeeek, but at the same time – Yay!!! 😀

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