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wildflower or weed?

jamesholtjamesholt Posts: 580
i dont know what these flowers are or if they are just weeds but i really like them.  i didnt plant them or buy them but they are as pretty as many of the flowers i have bought.  i recently saw monty plant this in his garden.a thistle!  i have always mowed or chopped them down because they are very common in the field and are prickly!  should i dig one up and put it in the garden?  is it common to grow thistles in the garden?  

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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,948
    Wildflowers are wildflowers ... if they are growing in your garden where you do not want them they are also weeds. 
    There are ornamental varieties of thistle developed for the garden but some of the wild ones are just as attractive and they’re certainly good for wildlife. 
    The history of gardening shows that while there were lots of wild places full of wild flowers gardeners created gardens which were more controlled and structured with more ‘developed’ varieties of flowers ... now that the places are fewer where we can see wild flowers in their natural glory, gardener designers seem to be creating replica ‘wild places’ with native wild flowers. 

    So whether or not you ‘should’ plant a wild thistle in your garden is up to you and the style of garden you’re creating. 

    However what I would say is that the beauty of those little yellow daisy-like flowers is in their glorious number ... massed like that  they are an absolute vision. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.





  • jamesholtjamesholt Posts: 580
    thank you.  thistles arent invasive?
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,190
    If you let a thistle go to seed they’ll cover your garden. They blow in here from the field, forever digging them out. Same with the yellow flower, they set seeds like dandelions, your garden, so up to you what you plant in it. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • jamesholtjamesholt Posts: 580
    wow!  thanks for the heads up
  • tui34tui34 Posts: 3,448
    I like these flowers, too!  I pick them (with gloved hands) when walking out with the dog and they make an unusual flower arrangement inside.  I admit I burn them when finished as they can propagate!!
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • strelitzia32strelitzia32 Posts: 758
    If you like that (approximate) look of thistles in flower, try small alliums instead. Chives will produce a similarly beautiful display from mid spring heading to summer (i.e. now), and have the advantages of being tasty, easy to control, and slow spreading.
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