Welcoming has been the last several days of cloud cover, and yesterday's walkabout features photos of one tiny section of the west-facing slope outside my studio window.
Cynara cardunculus (sih-NAR-ah kar-DUNK-yoo-lus) or Cardoon has been a part of our garden for many years. A low maintenance plant, but be certain to cut back the spent blossoms for they self-sow freely. A member of the artichoke family, the stalks are edible and can be baked, broiled or braised, but that which we have not tried.
We grow it as an ornamental due to its striking blue-gray foliage and lovely bright periwinkle and thistle-like blossoms during the summer, and alongside Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne' and Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus', it makes for a nice combination of texture and color.