Sometimes the smallest and simplest of discoveries in the garden can blow you away. Pulling up a clump of small dandelion leaves to give to the chicks as a treat, I spied this seedhead of an oriental poppy. Nature had turned it into a skeletal sculpture. Rotting had revealed little windows through which patterns emerged.
It is hard to believe that these little capsules were but a few months ago hidden deep inside the bright orange over-sized blooms. Looking past this orange glare into the poppy’s secret centre, we could see a black core dusted with purple. Already the shape of the green seed head was evident. Once the floppy orange silk of the petals drooped lifelessly they fell to feed the soil beneath. Now the gaunt rigid stems were topped with the green seed heads which would dry to tinder in the following summer months. When dried, the capsules rattling with seeds, seeds by the million, turned pale biscuit. The rotting rains of autumn softened the stems which the winds then felled. The wetness of the ground rotted the capsule’s flesh away leaving these wonderful skeletal shapes.