Echinacea purpurea

To design with plants you have to work with how they look throughout the year. I love the seed heads and contrasting textures that only become visible in late summer and authumn. The images are of Echinacea purpurea, Angelica, Alchillea millefolium and Phlomis. All plants that do well on the sandy soil of the downs. If you want to keep the seed heads on the plants do not ‘dead head’. The removing of the flowers after flowering is usually done to encourage the plant to make new flowers and so to extend the period of flowering. Not dead heading and leaving the seeds to develop leaves the plant in a natural state with their flower branches on show sometimes throughout the winter. Importantly, it also creates food for the birds and shelter for many insects.