Odd Plants of the Garden

Watch out, we bite!

These variegated milk thistles, Silybum marianum, have been an interesting addition to our garden. I know, I know, y’all are going, “You are growing thistle?? Isn’t that a weed?” Well, yes, lots of plants are weeds until you decide to make them part of your garden! And, it’s variegated. If you’ve known us, especially Chris, for any length of time in the garden you know that variegation is a plant trait that we are highly drawn to. If it is variegated and isn’t ugly (there’s some ugly variegation out there folks!), the plant usually ends up on our cart at a plant nursery.

I think they are going to be an annual, so once they finish blooming and set seed we’ll have to spread the seed for them to return next spring. Let’s just hope we don’t regret it and have milk thistle all over our yard.

The next odd plant we’ve got growing right now is the red hot poker. For years and years I’ve seen these in catalogs and have always wanted to grow them. Last year I made sure we got seeds since we would now finally have the room to grow them, and they grew wonderfully all of last year, sending up bloom stalks just in the last two weeks.

I really love this plant and wish we had more than the few that we planted. They will set seed here after they finish blooming and unfortunately we won’t get any more blooms for two years since I believe they are biennial. I suppose I could start some seeds now and set plants out for next year, but I’ll have to dig around to see if we even have seeds to do that!

Those are just two of the more unusual plants in our garden at the moment, but I’m sure there are others. Chris and I definitely like to find the more unique plants that aren’t commonly seen in many gardens.

Got any ideas for more unusual plants we can grow?


  • Moosie

    Those are cool and pretty. I hope the wind and birds don’t scatter the seeds for you. Are they will be every where. Do you think your Dad would shoot me if I got seeds to bring home?

  • Patrice

    This cracks me up because of the amateur gardens I’ve kept, most have weeds only because I can never figure out what is weeds and what is not. I think certain weeds are pretty!!

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