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A thickly planted garden bed brings together in one shot a multiplicity of the striking and bold flowers of the perennial thistle, Eryngium giganteum. This is the variety also known as "Miss Wilmott's Ghost", for its eerie silvery bracts, but perhaps also because the legendary English gardener, Ellen Wilmott, loved it so much she surreptitiously sprinkled other peoples' gardens with its seeds, leaving a legacy that would multiply after her death.
These plants thrive at the Thames Barrier Park in south-east London. Multiples - with bees!