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At this time of year it’s a blessing that some plants continue to look good even after they’ve turned up their toes. You have to experiment – I find a lot of the plants supposed to hold on to their seedheads, like Rudbeckia, Echinops and many grasses, actually collapse sideways into a soggy heap around November, which hardly counts as winter these days. But when you find the ones that work, they really are worth their weight in gold (which is the colour many of them are on a frosty winter’s day, too).

Spiky seedheads of Cynara cardunculus towering overhead against a December sky.

Verbena bonariensis is one of the best for looking good all winter – as long as the bluetits don’t tear the seedheads to bits first.

Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ puts up a forest of ghostly silver stems.


And of course poppy heads: many of these do collapse sideways but there are always a few left standing. I wonder what critter chomped its way through the side of this one looking for seeds?
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