A prickly thistle

Last August I planted an apple tree in the school garden. Since then I’ve watched with dismay as all the branches have slowly been ripped off. I don’t think the children are doing this to deliberately destroy the tree. It’s just that they’re playing there and it gets knocked about and they grab onto it as part of their play. There’s no play equipment in the playground so they play in the gardens.

This morning I couldn’t bear it any longer and so I dug up the tree and planted it in my garden at home. It may already be too late as it’s mostly just a trunk now. I hope it survives. Now I’m thinking something prickly for the school garden is the way to go. Maybe a thistle? Did you know that the thistle is the national flower of Scotland? Most people think of the thistle as a weed but they produce some attractive flowers like this blue one:

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Source: http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/plant-finder/echinops-ritro-veitchs-blue/

I was thinking of getting some of those. They’re called Veitch’s Blue. It’s either that or a cactus. Is that a good idea?