What can we learn from thistles?

No, this isn’t a philosophical question – though it could be.

Traditional Welsh farming practice is to leave thistles growing until July. Then chop them down.

Thistles take up valuable grass space and consume a lot of moisture. So it is tempting to get rid of them earlier.

However, this would deny precious nectar for bees when the purple flowers open up.

There is also something about the cycle of growth that means they won’t sprout additional stems if harvested once they have flowered.

But you can’t leave them too late, or the florets have turned to seed heads, which float away on the breeze.

And give you more problems for next year.

Learning from doing here in the valley…