Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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 ...

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!

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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