Mid-winter decay that Piet Oudolf himself might approve of


Walnutfeb350I’m SO glad this neighbor follows the practice of letting decay alone until early spring.  Looks darn lively for dead plant matter.



  1. Beautiful, yes. The other thing that many gardeners forget in their zeal to “tidy up” in the fall is that many small animals and bugs need this woolly looking stuff to survive the winter.

    Now, when I look out the windows at what I haven’t gotten done outdoors in the fall, I have a whole new perspective! I’m helping the animals!

    Robin at Bumblebee

  2. We have a big stand of goldenrod, and this year I let a bit of it overwinter in its brown glory. I worry more about not getting around to clearing it in a timely fashion before the new shoots come up – we’ll see how it works. I agree, though, that it looks beautiful – especially at your neighbor’s, with all those different shades of brown…

  3. Yep, I have a bunch of that lovliness in my garden too. I thought I was just lazy. tee hee..not really. Just today I pulled some of that wild bermuda grass out of a flower bed and stirred up a smallish wolf spider. He wasn’t too happy. I am sure some bird would love to find him for a nice snack.

  4. That all-cap ‘SO’ in Susan’s post had me thinking that she was being sarcastic.

    Hey, I’m a big Oudolf fan. But I’ll admit it: Decay in late winter can range from ‘chaotic’ to ‘butt-ugly’. But I can deal with it until the bulbs start poking through.

  5. Beauty, and ugliness is in the eye, yada, yada. Some things are intrinsically beautiful. Must of it is taught, and fairly subtly too. Also, I think perceptions of beauty can be informed by knowledge/awareness of relevant factors. To me, a perennial garden uniformly cut down in the fall is truly abhorrent in its prissified anal retentiveness. (Or maybe the owner is a cpa and too busy to do it in the spring. Then it might not be P.A.R. Sometimes we have to put our own limitations and needs above the community interest. But it is still ugly.)

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