Plant of the week
Eryngium giganteum, Miss Willmott’s Ghost
Miss Willmott was a formidable Victorian gardener. Every time she visited a garden, she would slide a few seeds out of the back of her hand. It would be one or two years later that the thrilling thistles of this biennial plant would mark her earlier visit.
Here it is in my garden. The self-sown seedlings from this plant will flower next year. You have to be ruthless with them, although you might pot some up for friends.
Miss Willmott has a long flowering season. Although her flowers go yellow and brown as she ages, they still look nice as they set seed for the following year. The flowers provide copious nectar and masses of pollen and are a magnet for insects.
For the true story of Miss Willmott's life, THIS ARTICLE in The Independent is fascinating.
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