In mid-summer, there is one plant in my garden that seems to grab the attention of everyone who visits. It is not a plant that can be described as pretty, but its architectural presence in a flower bed is striking.
"Echinops" commonly known as "Globe Thistle" is a perennial that has many assets and no liabilities, except that like all thistles, it is not soft to touch. It grows to about three feet with stiff silver stems holding its round blue globes aloft. It contrasts well with other colors and flower shapes, never needs staking, is untroubled by pests and deer avoid it.
For over a month it maintains its good looks and can be cut to the ground when it begins to get shabby. It is a great cut flower and it dries well for winter bouquets.
"Echinops" is a worthy addition to a landscape not only because it is versatile and stalwart but also because it has visible characteristics that contribute diversity to a grouping of perennials that have gentler personalities.
Henry Theodore Tuckerman said, "To analyse the charms of flowers is like dissecting music. It is one of the things which it is far better to enjoy than to attempt fully to understand."