Beautiful aren't they?I'm thinking of growing a load of Cirsium next year.Is your soil alkaline, neutral or acidic?
Very variable PH as the place is on a recent volcanic eruption point (50,000 years or so) The northern slopes tend to be acidic etc..This rather stunted Thistle was growing in our scoria pit base in pure scoria! (as many Echiums do)I cannot grow any of this tribe or any other plant if deemed a potential threat to the agricultural properties around me so can only admire the odd specimen which escapes that dreadful chemical spray much used by the Dairying industry! My favourite of the tribe is Silybum marianum of which this district has its fair share.. the Rosettes before flowing are exquisite! I liken them to prickly Hosta's!
I've ordered a pack of Onopordum acanthium seeds, a true scot. I'll start them off soon so that hopefully next year they'll do their thing.
Ach half your luck laddie!