Blue to Magenta

I'm not sure what variety of Lavender this is, but every year it's an absolute triumph - initially the buds are denim opening to the purest blue and it flowers for ages. It's certainly not phased by this continuing hot Summer. Yesterday's temperature peaked at 39 centigrade, though one or two spots across the south west saw 40 degrees and Friday could be hotter as another blast of hot air wafts up from Spain and the African Maghreb.

The cardoon is starting to flower. The 'choke' takes on an almost electric quality somewhere between magenta and blue - luminous in the evening light and for a few short weeks my absolute favourite.

The Scotch thistle, onopordum acanthium, a pollinator magnet as common to so many members of the asteracaea family, stands around six feet tall and is a handsome beast. It's the thistle featured on the back of some £1 coins and as the 'crowned' thistle on the back of the 5 pence coin. A gem.


  1. Oh it certainly sounds as if you are having a hot summer Rob. That lavender looks happy lapping up the sunshine and I imagine that the bees are enjoying it too.

    1. Hot, hot, hot. We could actually do with a drop of rain and some cooler temperatures but that seems unlikely in the near future. I wonder if El Niño has some influence as to why we're having a heatwave?

  2. Lavender could be Hidcote Superior. Our gardens suffering in Boundary Bay in British Columgia too. Definitely an El Niño and predicted to continue into early winter.
    Cardoon is beautiful and such impressive growth. I prefer to grow edible artichokes but if I had more space i would certainly add cardoon
    Regards Janine

  3. Great blog! I was wondering if you would be interested in a guest blogging opportunity with Gardening Know How? If so, please e-mail me at for more details! Thanks, and hope to hear from you soon!


  5. Your blog is a thrilling discovery! Although my blog is based in Sussex, UK, I am in the family house in France currently thinking about my new post on drought resistant planting. It looks like your climate is hotter (we're Bourgogne). I think that lavender is Augustifolia? Following you on Bloglovin, back soon. Abi x


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