When you dig gardening (pun intended) and you live in a colder climate (zone 6 here), you need plants that "die well". It is a long stretch from November to March and the search for winter interest is always top of mind.
To me, winter interest is all about subtlety and as is the case when gardening during any season, looking natural is the key. And I'm the first to admit that I have a long ways to go in mastering this practice. But that is the beauty with gardening - we will learn until the day we die.
For today, I thought I would share some of my "good dying plants" and "not so good dying plants" with you. Shall we?:
One of the "winter interest" staples is the classic coneflower (Echinacea). Here it is in it's decaying glory:
Not bad eh? I should also add I love NOT cutting down the coneflower blooms in order to feed the birds (as seen in the photo of the finch above) and I enjoy the reseeding in all of my garden beds. Coneflowers for years to come.
We also have the mother of all winter interest, the ornamental grass:
|Miscanthus (Maiden Grass)|
|Panicum (Switch Grass)|
|Chasmanthium Latifolium (Northern Sea Oats)|
Also love spent Hydrangea blooms:
The native Mountain Mint:
And finally my friends, love me some spent Astilbe blooms:
But I can't leave it all positive. Not everything looks good dead. Some ugly examples:
Let me know some of your favorite winter interest plants. Lord knows I still need some guidance.