With millions of years of evolution, seeds just want to grow. Still, just to make sure, I put a few simple steps of extra care to make sure they do. And then there’s cardoon, a flower or a vegetable?
Tag Archives: cardoon
I’m about to give up on jasmine; can anybody help me? But I think I got growing cardoon (for flowers) and winter lettuce down.
Cardoon Gets to Stay
I haven’t yet given up on cardoon — growing it. But eating it? I just about give up. It’s like eating humongous stalks of stringy celery having just a hint of artichoke flavor. As an ornamental is how cardoon has made itself garden-worthy. Like most perennial plants, it grew only leaves this past season, its first season here. But what leaves they were! As I said, like “humongous stalks of celery.” Not much good for eating but nice to look at. The edges of the three-foot-high stalks were winged with undulating, pointed blades (each stalk is a leaf), and the whole plant is a very Mediterranean-looking olive-green. If all goes well, next year should provide an even better show, when flowers also appear. Cardoon is in the thistle family. It’s as if you injected our common (Canadian) thistle with steroids. In addition to those giant leaves, …
Mediterranean Delectables & Not So Delectables
Figs thrive in heat and sunlight, nothing like the cold and frequently overcast days we now have, with only a few hours of sun when it does show itself. Still, my figs keep my attention.
In the greenhouse, heated only enough to keep temperatures above 35°F, the fig trees still have plenty of hard, unripe fruits splayed along their stems. Nothing odd about that. Figs, unlike apples and most other fruits which ripen during a narrow window in time, keep developing and ripening new fruits all along their growing stems.
But only one of my varieties, given the name Rabbi Samuel, seems able to tap into what little sunlight and heat are still at hand. The flavor of fruits that ripen on the heels of a spate of cold, rainy weather falls flat. But whenever sunlight fuels enough photosynthesis in the leaves and warmth in the greenhouse …
In this early part of the growing season, I’m frequently asked, “So what new and exciting plants are you growing in the garden this year?” And just as frequently, I can’t think of anything. Not that gardening isn’t “new and exciting” every year, what with the vagaries of the weather and pests, and their interaction with planting, pruning, and soil care.
Well, this year I can think of at least four new and exciting plants I’m growing.
I actually have grown cardoon before, perhaps 25 years ago. And up until this weekend, I had no desire to ever grow it again. The plant is like a giant celery with spiny stalks that must be tied together so that they get blanched and edible. Or supposedly edible, once you removed the tough strings running down each stalk. Blanching and de-stringing was a lot of trouble, too much trouble for me considering …