Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blueberries & Thistle

We had quite a soggy week here in the Oregon valley. While most of the nation is suffering a giant heat wave, our temperatures have been in the low 70s. Although I love the rain for my plants, and the plants do so much better with rain than hose water, I was getter concerned that my garden wasn't getting enough heat. Today the sunshine returned, and I went out for a much needed walk in the garden. Some of the tomatoes are a little scrawny, but they are getting tall, and to my delight, the rest of the garden is doing wonderfully. Best of all- the big weed that we have been watching grow all season has bloomed! Here are some pictures from the garden this week.

The first thing that caught my attention in the garden were these pink sedum flowers, they looked very pretty peaking out of the sedum and creeping jenny, a very pretty pink!

The blueberries are mostly ready to pick, we all love blueberries here, and are waiting for the bees and wasps to go home for the night so we can pick them. Still deciding what to make first- muffins, pancakes or blueberry crisp?

In the veggie garden the squash have a bunch of little zucchini that should be ready to pick very soon. We love to eat them when they are smaller, steamed with a little butter. We also let a few zucchini get really big to shred for breads and fritters.

The green beans are full of white blossoms as well as a bunch of little green beans- this is something we look forward to every year- we love fresh green beans, and could eat them every night steamed with a little butter. We should be picking our first summer meal's worth in about a week or so.

And finally... the big weed that we have been watching since it was much smaller earlier this spring, has finally bloomed. It is beautiful!! Here is a picture of the big weed when we first started blogging it's progress, in early May.

Here is one of the beautiful thistle flowers.

The thistle is still about the same height as it was in my last post- about 4 and half feet tall and roughly 4 feet diameter. Look at all of the pretty blossoms.

This thistle is attracting lots of different types of bees- here is one hard at work.

Here is another pretty blossom.

This week I learned a few fun facts about the thistle plant. The thistle is the floral emblem of Scotland, and has been since Alexander the 3rd in the mid 1200's. It has been used on Scottish coins. The thistle is a Celtic symbol of nobility. The thistle is the symbol of the Encyclopedia Britannica- which I spent many hours reading whenever I was bored during my teen years. Can you tell I love fun Wikipedia facts?

A fun Thistle legend- According to Scottish legend, an invading Norse army was trying to sneak up on the Scottish army, one of the Norseman was barefoot, and stepped on a thistle and cried out in pain, which of course alerted the Scots to their presence. I must say, that looking at our thistle and all of it's many thorns, it would definitely make someone cry out in pain if they stepped on it barefoot. Yikes!

Butterfly and finch enjoy the thistle. Also, the thistle has many medicinal uses. In medieval times it was thought to be a cure for baldness and even the plague!

Earlier this week I wrote about my trip to the Scottish Highland Games, and how I bought myself a little treasure that I would share with you this week. Here it is- a beautiful, bone china thistle coffee cup, made in Scotland.

Can't wait to enjoy a nice hot beverage early in the morning out in my summer garden, watching more thistles blossom! Hope everyone is having a nice week- and to all of you out there in the big heat wave- I pray you stay cool- sending a nice breeze from Oregon.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV


  1. Wow April! Your garden is looking good! Isn't that nice that your weed turned out to be a thistle to match your cup? Too bad they are so prickly or it would make a nice arrangement in your cup. But thanks to your information, I now know why. I'll never look upon them in the same way. Enjoy your cool weather! Knowing there's someplace in the country with some, gives me hope!

  2. I love this page and I love your thistle. It makes me think how amazing God's creation is. And you have captured it beautifully. To think I have pulled so many up with out a thought and never stopped to admire the blossom.

  3. Thank You Jane! I too had thought how pretty they would look as a cut flower, but yes, they are too prickly for that. Glad you like the info.

    Thank's Pollyanna! I agree, this big thistle makes me think how amazing God's creation is also- so huge from one seed, such perfect and beautiful design. Glad you liked my post. :)

  4. What a lovely garden and blog! We have thistles here too, but I must confess that we always chop them down. They are beautiful though!

  5. Beautiful garden pics! Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. Looking forward to following yours!

  6. I love that legend.

    This has been a great year for growing huh? We're in California, but not far from the Oregon border. This has been my best year yet. Wet, but my veggies aren't frying on the vine.

    Good luck!

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your positive comments Beth, Kristy, & Lee! Lee, I am glad you enjoyed the legend- and yes, although it has been a little soggy, it is nice not having to water the garden, and all in all the garden is doing pretty well. Glad your veggies are doing well also :)

    Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!


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