Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The mystery thistle

I look forward each summer to the flowering of this thistle-like plant. I bought it several years ago before Bunnings took over the big building out Kings Meadows way and when the nursery section was overseen by Jo McIntyre. She had great plant taste and this is a great example of the unusual things it was possible to find then.

It's about 60-70cm tall and very thistle-like in its structure. The flowers are the palest shade of lavender and soft and fragile. I thought that it might have been Carlina acaulis but the petals fall away and are soft and not stiff. The foliage is a fresh green all over with no downiness or white hairs. The prickles are sharp but not lethal like a common thistle.

So if there's anyone out there in the ether with any suggestions, I'd be greatly delighted! It doesn't appear to set seed and it is reluctant to divide so it's certainly not a common garden plant nor a weed!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Every year the Dieramas surprise and enchant me with their exuberant display, none more so than the white variety that I've planted in my rock garden. This plant is smaller in size and flower than the usual red and pink varieties and is better suited in scale to the plants around it. I love the way it complements the blue, yellow and silver theme of this area of my garden but enlivens the whole combination. Every year I think, "I must have more!"

So in winter I will divide my clumps and spread them further and this time next year there will be a larger display to welcome in the New year!