100_9841 (2) flower at arb

I visited the United States National Arboretum in Washington DC last month. I went hunting for interesting flowers and found one I hadn’t at all expected — I believe it’s a cardoon.  My husband had planted cardoons in the garden one summer, and we waited all season for the flowers, a waiting that was all in vain.  Perhaps some varieties are flower-less?  Or was ours somehow not a full-fledged cardoon?  I will probably never know.  However, that was the magical summer of the black and yellow garden spider.  (Avert your eyes if you are arachnophobia, but note that she’s a beautiful spider — as spiders go ….)

spider no 1 in her web sept 6 (2)

She settled near the cardoons and you can see a bit of cardoon leaf in the left-hand side of the photo.  She was an impressive spider.  So, it was a no-flower but get-a-pretty-spider- instead-for-a-bargain kind of summer.

Fast forward to this summer when I was no longer looking for cardoons and one jumps into my path as it were.  It wasn’t in flower yet. Still this beautiful structure, the globe artichoke, was exactly what our cardoons were missing. Well, I meant to go back to the arboretum to see the flower on top.  But I forgot!

It’s a month later now.  I probably missed the flower, but I suppose I ought to return and find out if some late bloomer is available for a photo shoot. Thus the moral of the story is Make Thyself A List and keep it current.

Or you’re gonna miss out.



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