|Bellflowers. A trailing plant, creeping along a wall in Beach Grove. The spot on the wall above is a pretty jumping spider.|
|More bellflowers, falling out of a round-bellied pot.|
We were driving back from the beach, when I saw these towering over a fence. From the street, they looked like thistles, but what thistles!
We parked and went over. Up close, they are even more impressive; these lowest blooms were well over my head. The highest ones would be beyond my reach, even with a box to stand on.
(Wikipedia says the largest cultivars reach to 2 meters. These were quite a bit more than that.)
The owner was working in the garage, and came out to talk about his plants. They're cardoons, he said. I remembered the name. Long ago, I had been given some seeds and planted them in my garden. Nothing came of them, though, so I had never seen the actual plant.
It is a relative of the artichoke, and the buds can be eaten like artichokes. The stems and leaf stalks are also edible. The leaves of the wild plant are spiny, but they have been bred out in the domesticated plant.
|Lavender flower head, Beach Grove roadside.|
|One nasturtium, growing through a rock pile.|
|Nasturtiums by our usual parking spot at the beach.|
|These lilies in the shade of a garage looked completely black. The flash brought out the deep red tones.|
|Red and yellow California poppies|
|A glorious smoke tree. So impressive, that we promptly went out and bought a small one for our own garden.|
|Pale yellow roses in our neighbour's yard.|