Friday - Flower in Focus

This week's flower in focus is Helenium Ferrum, straight out of a Mad Max movie! This reliable plant will bloom all winter long, is not picky about light or water, and is completely pest free! I even notice the dog walking around it instead of trampling it down. It isn't invasive (as a matter of fact I haven't seen this one spread at all) and works well as a companion to many popular plants . My only complaint? It's a real bitch to get into cut arrangements...

On a serious note - sometimes you need everlasting structure to keep some interest in the winter garden. A lot of landscapers and gardeners will cut back perennials in the fall to "prepare for winter". What a waste! (literally) While I know you are glad you left all of those beautiful seed heads for the winter birds to feed on, by this time of year much of that has been beat down by falling snow, critters, and winds. Having ornamental structures in the garden helps keep some vertical interest and some depth to the garden while we await the arrival of Spring.