The last word on teasel


It sounds like something out of a horror story! Love the name. Teasel is one of those dreaded "noxious weeds" that you don't want in your garden. It's like thistle. Interesting form, beautiful features, terrible habits! Very aggressive, introduced by accident into this country in the 1700s from Europe. Crowds out native plants. BUT ...

Its unusual seed heads are prized by floral designers. Mandy Swope sent me this photo to show what she did with the leftovers from her garden club meeting last week, where members used an array of fantastic dried materials - not just teasel, but burrs and gum balls and twigs, berries, fiddle heads and lots of other seed pods, like redbud and milkweed.

Here, Mandy paired white lilies and teasel. Nice!