This time of year the prickly pink Milk Thistle flower pops up everywhere in the countryside, growing profusely in cow pastures and vacant meadows.  This odd flower has become quite popular in elegant wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and table centerpieces for large events, but I especially like them for everyday arrangements around the house.  Although the Blue Sea Holly and Globe Thistle have long been used by florists, the common Milk Thistle has become the up-and-coming novelty of the industry.

Perhaps it is driven by the desire for something wild and different compared to traditional floral compositions...or maybe it's thistle's symbolic meaning?  Thistles are a symbol of protection and nobility in Celtic language.  However, their meaning can also elude to hatred or mistrust from the Victorian Language of Flowers.

Whatever the reason for their recent popularity, I decided to grab my gloves and take the challenge of designing a bouquet of Milk Thistle.  I choose a fan-shaped vase of sterling silver to avoid over handling the blooms, then I gently inserted them into the vase with woodland ferns, further exaggerating the fan shape.  I was rather pleased with the result and would encourage any creative soul to give it a try.  This arrangement lasted three days before beginning to wilt and fade.

Teach me the value of thorns and thistles and to see beauty in unconventional ways.