Canada thistle brings a thorny problem to any landscape where it appears. This prickly beast grows from seed that can blow into your yard, or it can sprout from root pieces, which sneak in with bulk topsoil or mulch loads. Size varies, with many mature plants reaching 5 to 8 feet tall. In a single season, one plant can produce a 20-foot-long root system, and it only takes one piece of root to produce a plant. Control through weeding, but dig carefully and deeply to get the horizontal root. After digging, if another sprout appears, pull it, too. Or use an herbicide. The best time to spray is as soon as leaves break ground. Spray repeatedly through the growing season, and you will eventually kill it.
There are many flowers that work well for styling holiday tablescapes such white lilies, white roses, red roses, berry branches and poinsettias. Try a different approach with thistle. Often known for having somewhat of a country or wild flower look, thistle has a moody mix of blue-violet and green coloring with faded green stems. Thistle works best when bulked up with two to four bouquets.
Designer Gordon Dunning uses thistle and winterberry as punctuation on this gorgeous bunting of magnolia leaves ornamenting a staircase at the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles 2018 Home for the Holidays Showhouse and Marketplace.
As seen on HGTV's America's Most Desperate Kitchens, Anthony and John created a custom-built, live edge tasting bar that perfectly complements the wild thistle wallpaper covering the bar. This gives these homeowners the perfect place to entertain.
The details in this space help to bring the eclectic style to life. From a Mid-Century Modern dresser to a rustic, woven basket and thistles, this space brings in several design styles and blends them expertly to create a sophisticated space.
To create drama, think of each decorative element in reference to its visual weight and shape. This table for four is lacking in a table cloth or runner; instead, different textures and sheens of varied materials, from the seagrass and cork chargers to the antique brass place setting and the coarse texture of the thistle centerpiece, anchor the tablescape.
Annual weeds like crabgrass, pigweed, lambsquarters and wild mustard sprout from seed as soon as soil warms in spring. Perennial weeds like dandelion, sorrel and thistle can also sprout from seeds.
Easy Solution: Short circuit weed seed germination by spreading a pre-emergent herbicide. Corn gluten is an effective, natural control that prevents weed seeds from growing successfully.
Perennial weeds are tricky garden invaders because they can sprout from seeds, root pieces and stems. Common perennial weeds include tree of heaven, Canada thistle, dock and dandelion.
Easy Solution: Learn to identify weed seedlings. As soon as you spot a perennial weed, get on your hands and knees and dig it out. This broadleaf dock sinks a deep taproot quickly. Getting all of it out of soil is the key to keeping this perennial weed from coming back.
Weeding is probably one of the worst jobs in the landscape, but you can make even this must-do chore easier. First, tackle weeding in small bites—it’s easier on your body and mental state. Second, use the right tools. Invest in weeding tools that work. Consider things like a digging knife, Asian hoe or an ergonomic weeder designed to give you leverage when dealing with tap-rooted interlopers like thistle or dandelion. Lastly, tackle weeding at the right time. After rain or watering, soil is moist and weeds pull easier.
Plants that sow their own seed create serendipitous splashes of color in the garden, like this pretty combination of self-sown Summerina echibeckia and Tuscan kale. But left to their own devices, self-sowing plants can easily take over desired plantings, even established perennials. Self-sowers include plants like cleome, dill, queen anne’s lace, coneflower, nasturtium and globe thistle. To keep self-sowing plantings under control, pull plants before seeds mature. Use caution tossing them into your compost pile, because you may inadvertently spread the seeds around your garden in the compost.