Seeking beauty

The first week of the Easter break has flown by for us in a flurry of travelling and spending time with family, thereby causing a blog hiatus - apologies! We've spent the last few days at the farm, and there has again been some solace in the garden for me.

The garden is not at its best after a very wet summer. We have lost plants to fungal diseases, the roses are covered in blackspot, and the pests and bugs are having a grand old time! So I have to work a bit harder to see the beauty!
In the garden's 'ugly' phases, it's time to appreciate contrast in form and colour, such as a shock of pink against the bronze, velvety seed heads of fountain grass ...
... the contrast of sweet purple & white 'Geisha Girl' duranta against a background of box elder foliage, turning deeply golden in the autumn sun ...
... more brilliant pink, 'Sophy's Rose' in contrast with the aging bronze flower heads of Sedum 'Autumn Joy' ...
Beauty can be at its strongest as plants age, passing from exuberant and flamboyant, to promise of future fertility and regeneration. Rose hips form and swell ...
... the albizia is laden with pods, crackling in the breeze ...
 ... fragile papery flower heads of agapanthus, 
burst with new seeds ...
 ... and perhaps the most spectacular post-flowering display, the seed head of my cardoon, 
architectural and breathtaking ...
The roses are fighting valiantly 
against fungal foe and waves of aphid. 
There are still occasional treasures to be found, 
such as the pristine 'Winchester Cathedral' ...
and the penultimate performer, 'Graham Thomas' ...
And of course, when nature throws up a bout of humidity and warm weather, an ideal breeding ground for bugs and disease, it also breeds beauty like this:
Beauty is surely everywhere if you look closely!