What gardener doesn’t love blue? Here’s an easy, sun loving perennial that deserves more use in Birmingham area gardens. Echinops ritro, common name globe bristle (or globe thistle), is a winner. Arising from a clump of thistle like leaves, midsummer brings forth bloom stalks to four feet carrying several steel blue, golf ball sized, menacing looking blooms. Cool.
Drying to brown in a few weeks, these seed bombs are loved by many birds. Get to a few of those seed clusters first, and you have the potential to increase your patch of globe thistle because they are so easy to propagate.
Feed the birds, enjoy the blooms (cut flowers), and make more blue flowers! Easy, and not just another zinnia.
Sources include better garden centers and online suppliers. Gardeners are also known for their generosity, so make friends.