Starla sent pictures of her artichoke blooms. To enjoy the exotic blooms you have to forgo the harvest. After looking at these pictures, you might pick the okra and eggplant out of your garden for dinner instead.
Artichoke plants benefit us in two ways as beautiful ornamentals and as a food source.
For those two reasons, we have grown this plant in the edible landscape on top of the hugelkultur in semi shade and they have returned for several years bearing as many as 7 artichokes per plant.
We are often asked if the artichokes on the hugelkultur are cardoons. Both plants have a beautiful thistle like bloom and a striking architectural appearance in landscapes. They reach heights of 3 to 6 feet but the cardoon has a rangier growth habit and the edible part is the stem not the flower.
Now what will it be, blossom or artichoke? Feast your eyes or your stomach?
We vote both! Let some flower and cook the rest.
Here’s how Beverly Allen cooks the artichokes she harvests. https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/amazing-roasted-artichokes/
Ann Lamb with input from Beverly Allen
Pictures by Starla Willis