We received over two inches of snow in the Philadelphia area overnight, our first blanket of white in almost two years. As I gaze into my back yard and see most of the ground covered, I’m acutely aware of the importance seed heads play in adding drama and interest to the winter landscape. I have to admit that I do a pretty extensive cleanup in the fall since I have limited time in the spring. But there are certain plants I leave standing because last season’s remnants create so much magic in the garden.
Another thing I love about leaving seed heads standing is the promise they offer, a reminder that the seeds of yesterday create life tomorrow. While I don’t depend on plant seeds for my livelihood, some people do. I recently watched Gardening in a War Zone, an independent film made by Floret Flower Farm owner Erin Benzakein. The film tells the story of Alla Olkhovska, who lives in Kharkiv, Ukraine and supports her family by selling the rare seeds she collects from her garden. You can’t help but be inspired by Alla’s story. I encourage you to watch this 30 minute documentary.
Whether you leave seed heads because you want to harvest them to see what offspring a plant produces, to support your family, or simply to add beauty to your garden, I know you’ll find comfort in the company of some seedy characters.