“Echinops” by Annie Watson, Thistle Hill Studio
After the June rains, dry July weather supported the blooming of many flowers. The bees have been making honey. During August, garden plants as well as wild mustard and burdock become important food for bees until the goldenrod bloom of late summer.
Echinops, or globe thistle, is a wonderful perennial for your garden. The foliage and flowers provide color and texture, it’s easy to grow, and many pollinators love it. My globe thistle flower heads are covered with bees, wasps, and others during late July and August. The spiny-edged leaves are not as prickly as field thistles and their texture contrasts nicely with the perfectly round blue-violet flower heads. The plant stands 3-4 feet tall, doesn’t need a lot of special care, and provides food for honey bees and many other pollinators.