I find the different directions of the stems make the thistles appear to be dancing...Nice effect, but oh all that grey space off to the right bothers me. It is not the space itself, because that gives the plants room to move and grow, but it is the color that bothers me.
Excellent detail on the close up.
The soft tones and layers of the scenery is a nice effect, but agin way too much sky. It is just not interesting, yet takes up a lot of space. I think if you crop it out to just a little above tree line it would be fine.
I wonder if a telephoto, drawing the layers closer together, might have worked, too.