Why use seed­heads?

Country Homes & Interiors - - GARDEN NOTES -

We ask In­dia Hurst of Ver­vain, a flower stu­dio based in Bris­tol and Worces­ter­shire, how she makes up her beau­ti­ful au­tumn flower ar­range­ments.

Which seed­heads do you rush to har­vest, and why? Lu­naria

an­nua (right) is top of my list. More com­monly known as hon­esty, its translu­cent, flat seed cases are uniquely sculp­tural. Sec­ond is

Al­lium schu­ber­tii, with huge seed­heads best de­scribed as fire­works. Pop­pies of­fer a sturdy seed pod; larger types such as ‘Patty’s Plum’ are my favourites. The half-hardy peren­nial climber Cobaea

scan­dens has fan­tas­tic seed­heads, which I like to use once they have popped.

How do you dis­play seed­heads? They give great tex­ture and new depth to ar­range­ments if mixed with au­tum­nal flow­ers such as dahlias, asters and straw flow­ers (xe­rochry­sum).

Along with clus­ters of rose­hips, they add sculp­tural form and re­mind us of the fruit­ful sea­son we are in.

Any tips on how to keep seed­heads look­ing good? Al­ways pick your seed­heads on a dry day. You need to avoid any mois­ture to en­sure that they don’t be­come mouldy. I then keep the seed­heads in a warm, dry en­vi­ron­ment, ide­ally an air­ing cup­board. Once they are dry, I box them up and then keep them in the dark un­til I need them.

What would be your ul­ti­mate bunch of flow­ers for Novem­ber? Just huge arm­fuls of seed­heads, twigs and branches with a few au­tum­nal coloured leaves still hang­ing on. Some­thing that looks for­aged and gath­ered from the last days of the sea­son. Ver­vain, ver­vain flow­ers. co.uk.

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