Rolf loves them.
They are giant thistles, closely related to the artichoke, and they require very little water or care. They grow to be about 8" in summer, and look really lovely,
b u t
Rolf has this bad habit of planting things in poorly thought out places, and they can become problematic.
In this case he planted the cardoon, right next to a stump, and too close to the deck.
It made lawn mowing a total hassle.
For eleven years I would run over the outer leaves of his plant, and he would get angry at me.
So today, on the heels of my exciting evening out, and my lively breakfast with Freyja, I said
"why don't we cut out that stupid stump, and put some pavers around the cardoon! Mark is taking the kids to gymnastics and the library, so we have about two hours free to get things DONE"So in the half cocked manner that we do most things, we set off excavating the soil around the plant, hacking the stump with an axe, and digging it out, and inserting pavers- all with our bare hands.
The plant looks really nice now, but in the process, I ripped off all ten nails, and gouged my leg on the stump, and was attacked by angry, biting ants.
I will not be getting that hand model gig anytime soon.