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Melinda's Gardening Moment: Prickly & Beautiful Plants for the Garden

Melinda Myers talks Prickly and Beautiful Plants for the Garden

Gardening expert Melinda Myers says most gardeners spend hours removing prickly thistles from a garden, but butterflies and finches love them.

"Here are a few thistle-like plants you may actually want to plant in your garden.

"Scotch thistle (Onopordium acanthium), symbol of Scotland, provides a unique architectural feature in the garden and landscape. Legend has it the Scotch thistle caused attacking Vikings to scream in pain when moving in for a sneak attack on the Scotts.

"Enjoy the blue flowers of Globe thistle (Echinops ritro) in the garden or bouquet. This salt tolerant, pollinator friendly plant was popular during the Victorian era.

"The steely blue flowers and drought tolerance of sea hollies (Eryngium) are a welcome site in the summer garden. Provide adequate drainage for the greatest success.

"The reseeding biennial, Miss Wilmott’s Ghost (Eryngium giganteum Miss Wilmott’s) was named for an eccentric rather prickly English gardener. She secretly dropped seeds of this prickly plant in her neighbors’ yard that appeared after her death.

"A bit more information: Some of these plants may be invasive in certain regions. Always check with your local extension service or the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States before adding these and other plants to your garden."

About Melinda Myers

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 135 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. Myers is also the host of the recently released The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series. Melinda writes a regular column for Wisconsin Gardening and Chicagoland Gardening magazines. She also writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. She is the recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s B.Y. Morrison Communication Award and in 2017 was inducted into the national Hall of Fame of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators. Myers’ website, www.MelindaMyers.com, features gardening videos, podcasts, monthly gardening tips and much more.

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