Sunday 6 August 2006
Something to thank some keel slugs for
Thanks to some evil keel slugs, I’ve discovered that cardoons have scented flowers.
We have a huge and handsome cardoon that somewhat dominates one corner of the garden. Early in the year it gives us impressive silvery leaves. Now it has huge stems, around 7 feet tall, bearing enormous fist-sized spiky thistle flowers. Unfortunately, I hadn’t noticed that a small group of Milax budapestensis and Milax sowerbyi had set up home in the bottom of my Cynara cardunculus, and the former chewed through the stem of the latter and felled our beauty as a hairy checked-shirt-wearing Canadian might fell a spruce. Woe indeed.
Determined not to have all our gardening fun destroyed, I immediately set about a scorched-earth treatment of the garden with small blue metaldehyde-laced bran pellets, with the result that there are now corpses everywhere. I also cut the fallen stem and put the thistley heads into a vase on the dining table.
This morning, as I came into the conservatory (where our dining table resides), there was a distinct scent of honey coming from the cardoon flowers. This explains why bees are so attracted to them and is a discovery I’ve made thanks to the intervention of the evil keel slugs.