Here ya go Olivia ... a curmudgeonly flower I came up with from the archives. Ok, so I brazenly swiped Olivia's idea as mentioned in her comments today, and I hope she doesn't mind too much! Though this clump of Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum) may look intimidating and downright prickly, it's really a pretty friendly (and as those who know me always hear me say) and absolutely unique and dazzling perennial for the front of the border. And with the blazing sun of late June captured here, it gives one of the best depictions of ephemeral blue haze of these masses of "flowers" (they're actually bracts). The best approximation we've come up with for the hazy blue is something akin to "gunmetal blue," though even that doesn't truly cover the range you see in these ... it's all dependent on how the light catches them. And for the naïve or just plain flower ignunt folks, it's quite often mistaken for a mass of thistles, for which the analogy is apt, if incorrect.
So here's a bit of summer past to brighten up the dreary cold of our present arctic blast .... If you look closely in the first shot, you'll also see Bee Balm and Coneflowers peeking through, along with one of the later Delphiniums and the Porcupine grass planted behind "Finger Rock...."
It's making me itch for spring and summer to arrive already ... and given the volumes of seed and plant catalogues I've been receiving lately, I guess they're on other gardeners' (and suppliers') minds as well!