Sunday, March 20, 2011

An advantage of being untidy

Due to weather, work, winter weariness and sheer laziness, I haven’t quite got round to tidying up the dead flowerheads, stems and detritus of the borders in the garden (although I have now made a start by hacking grasses and exposing the soft tentacle-like new growth of the epimediums).

My untidiness (well, I don’t call myself the Inelegant Gardener for nothing) has paid off recently, however. These little beauties have been visiting for the past couple of weeks, feeding on the furry seedheads of the Japanese anemones, and in this case, the cardoons which have seen better days, having survived a winter of extensive frost, not to mention some long-lasting snow.


The goldies have ignored the nyger seed feeder in the back garden, but how much better they look with their feathery seed-moustaches on the untidy plants. Maybe I’ll leave it another week or two until I cut down the dead heads.

Thank you to SomeBeans for taking the photo.


VP said...

I've been most tardy with my cutting back to a similar advantage as you've seen. I've had a pair of blackcaps just feed away from the pation door feasting on the Artemesia :)

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Lovely - goldfinches are one of my favorite birds - we have them here too .... Tell Somebeans "great shot"

Liz said...


I leave mine too, generally through laziness but also because the birds and insects appreciate the stems. I'm regularly finding a resident Ladybird hanging out in some Sea Holly and Hollyhocks that I haven't yet cut back.

A few years ago we had Goldies regularly eating seeds from Verbena Bonariensis too, although I haven't yet noticed them doing it this past year.

Arabella Sock said...

First weekend I've done some 'real' work in the garden - moving, dividing, pruning. Every muscle and bone aches now... I was going to say in a 'good' way but actually that would not be true! Still loads and loads to do but its a satisfying start.

Helle (Helen) said...

Oh lucky you. Our goldies studiously ignore the nyjer seed here as well. At least they were here in autumn eating all the sunflower seeds. Funny they don't come and eat those during winter.

Tom said...

Beautiful shot SomeBeans. It's always sad to cut down the dead seedheads come spring - and you've just given me a great reason not to. That said, I'm not sure we're likely to get goldfinches in London - although I live in hope. I had to cut back the lovely standing flowers of the grass Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerester' not long ago. They looked stunning all winter and the garden feels so empty without them!

chaiselongue said...

It's a real treat to see these in your garden. Lovely shot by SomeBeans!

Kate said...

Gorgeous photo -- there really are advantages in not being too tidy. I shall cite this as evidence in my defence!