Full, cobalt- blue thistles on stiff branching stems top jagged silver foliage on this giant, architectural cardoon that revels in hot sun
- Position: full sun
- Soil: well-drained soil
- Rate of growth: average
- Hardiness: hardy annual
Piercing, bright blue flowers with ruffled petals and violet-blue centres appear from early to late summer among lance-shaped, mid-green leaves. Once a common sight in cornfields, this lovely annual is perfect for naturalising in a sunny wildflower meadow and is a magnet for butterflies and bees. The flower petals are edible and have a clove-like taste.
- Garden care: Wild flowers prefer poor soils, so do not apply fertiliser. Deadhead regularly to prolong flowering. In autumn, cut the faded flowerheads down to the ground and compost the dead stems.
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Q:When is the best time to plant the border on a budget?
We are intrested in purchasing the plants suggested on 'money's tight' pre-planned border. Can you suggest when it is best to plant these plants?Asked on 2/3/2006 by sarah keeling
A:As a rule hardy plants grown in containers (such as the majority of the ones we sell), can be planted at any time of year as long as the soil isn't frozen solid. The best times to plant however are in the autumn when the soil is still warm enough to encourage root growth but the plant isn't in active growth, or in spring before the temperatures start to rise. You can also plant in mid summer as long as you make sure the plants are kept well watered.Answered on 2/6/2006 by Crocus
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