Saturday 1 March 2003
Top: The outer petals give the head a sunflower appearance, but they are quite a different shape to those on the artichoke, which has a similar ring of translucent petals.
Polly want a cardoon?

If you've looked at some of the past entries in the archive, you'll see a number of times that I mention the large decorative thistles that we have in both the front flower and rear vegetable gardens. They're called cardoons, an early relative of the artichokes (they also feature heavily in the garden images). This afternoon there were a pair of rosellas pulling apart the dried tops of the cardoons from a perch in the almond tree branches that overhang them. 

It's the first day of March and suddenly everything around says it's autumn. It will be a few weeks before the trees start their display but the last two nights have suddenly turned chilly, dropping to 5C and we're reversing the trend of shutting the blinds during the day and having the windows open at night to cool the house down. We were even anxious about frost with so much still growing in the garden. The stakes are driven in and the large plastic sheets we cover things with, are standing by.

  Fred Harden 2003 <thinktag>