Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Artichokes Bloom! And new baby artichoke plants...

As discussed earlier, artichokes are not only great to eat, but they also produce large, lovely flowers. However, in order to actually see the flowers, one must resist eating the artichoke. The dilemma here is that we tend to eat the immature flower bud. I had a series of out-of-town work trips recently that kept me away from my garden for a couple weeks and so several artichokes got too big/mature for eating. Thus, paving the way for artichoke flowers:

I'm thinking it's about time to cut the leaves and flowers off the artichokes.

I believe this is what the local farmers do around this time of year when the plants start to look quite raggedy. It seems harsh, but it's supposed to encourage new growth and possibly a fall crop. Any ideas, or advice?

Due to the success of my first plant, I decided to go out and get it some friends. So, I've now added 2 more "Green Globe" artichokes to the front yard:

Once they really settle in, they should take off!

Also, in case you were wondering ;) - this is what chard gone to seed looks like:

It's about 5 feet tall...more funky-ness for the front yard!


Ellie Mae's Cottage said...

Gorgeous! I've never seen an artichoke flower before! -Jackie

Tatyana said...

So many heads on one plant! Wow! Do you have a very nice soil for it Jackie?

Michelle said...

I like that funky-ness! Have you noticed bumble bees in the artichoke blossoms? It seemed like every time I went into the garden there was a bumble bee in the artichoke blossoms, it looked like they were swimming through the stamens. So fun to watch.

Jackie said...

Thanks for the compliment, Jackie!

Tatyana, I guess I have good soil/climate, since artichokes are grown commercially nearby my house. Soil is sandy and temps are cool.

Michelle, after reading your comment I went out on a sunny day to check the blooms. I saw several bumble bees 'swimming'! Very cool! The flowers feel like soft, flexible plastic - so unique.

Carolyn said...

I just saw someone at our farmer's market last weekend selling artichoke blooms. They were beautiful, but I don't think I'd let them get that far before I ate them! I'd love to take our a section of our front yard and plant some artichokes. It looks like they're working great for you!