Thistle seedhead catching the sunshine (before the snows came)
I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time wandering through countryside, usually with dog in tow, and it's hard to do that without appreciating just how remarkable wild plants and flowers are. They don't get so much as a smidgin of attention from us, yet they seed themselves, grow up bravely fighting off all manner of weeds (actually they often are weeds) and pests and make it to adulthood to produce a heart-stopping flower of their own. As a gardener it's all a bit humbling.
So since I often think they look at least as pretty as garden flowers I thought I'd give them their own spot in the limelight here, starting with a thistle I kind of wish I had in my garden as its seedheads were nicer (and much more sturdy) than most of mine have been this winter. But then the whole point of wildflowers is that they aren't in your garden, and you wouldn't want them to be if they were (I spend a lot of time and prickled fingers pulling thistles out of my garden, in fact). So I give you the thistle: in its own place and its own time, and long may it stay there so we can be stopped in our tracks while out dog-walking.