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Growing Artichokes for Blooms or Dinner?

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.

Looking top down at an artichoke blossom

Side view of artichoke blossom

Artichoke Bud

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.

Pretty artichoke growing at Raincatcher’s in our edible landscape

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.

Ann Lamb with input from Beverly Allen

Pictures by Starla Willis

Artichokes, Aphids, and Groceries At Raincatcher’s Garden

Root around our garden this spring and you will find groceries growing like crazy.

Here’s what is planted in some of our beds.

Raised Beds:

Bed 2-Sungold, Purple Cherokee, Sugary Hybrid, Celebrity, Marianna’s Peace Tomatoes and Carmen Sweet Peppers

Bed 3-Red and Green Lettuces and Onions

Bed 8-Potatoes and Clemson Spineless Okra

Bed-9 Artichokes, Gourmet Blend Beets, and  Sugar Snap Peas

Other Beds-variety of vegetables planted by and grown for our visiting school kids

In Ground Veggie Bed-Celebrity Tomatoes, Giant Jalapeño, Habanero Pepper, Ichiban Eggplant, and Black Beauty

May I recommend the Sugar Snap Peas for munching straight off the vine!

Sugar Snap Peas at The Raincatcher's Garden

Sugar Snap Peas at The Raincatcher’s Garden

Aphids and Ladybugs are also eating their way through our garden. Ladybugs  seem to be winning as explained in this video:


Video by Starla

Artichokes by Dorothy

Oh, and if you have an answer to Dorothy’s question about stink bugs, please leave your answer in the comments section below.

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