The Artichoke: Such a Drama Queen

Artichoke’s silvery arching leaves, up to 4 feet tall and wide, are very dramatic. If you don’t want to harvest them, or you leave some buds on the plant, the unharvested buds open… Continue reading

Just The Deets, Please: Growing Artichokes and Varieties

Artichokes need mild winters and summers.  They thrive in coastal gardens, particularly in central California ― the epicenter of Western artichoke culture ― where they grow into leafy mounds 5 feet tall.  (In… Continue reading

A Thistle by Any Other Name is. . . Well. . . an Artichoke

The artichoke is actually a thistle. It grows on a sturdy stem amid deeply cut, silver-green leaves that arch gracefully to give the plant a fountain-like appearance. They open into sumptuous, purple thistle… Continue reading

Oh Ruby, I Hardly Knew You.

When I lived in Oregon, I had a rhubarb plant in my backyard.  She was so beautiful with deep green leaves and bright ruby stalks.  She was really a gorgeous gal.  But, I… Continue reading

From Riches to Ditches: How the Mighty (Rhubarb) Fall

Rhubarb was the plant of Chinese Emperors.  It was also highly prized by Kings and Queens of other countries.  In the 1700’s, China tried to control the trade by forbidding the export of… Continue reading

To Grow, or Not to Grow, Rhubarb: You Gotta Make Her Shiver

Rhubarb is really a beautiful plant, with its lovely red stems and broad leaves.  If you don’t intend to harvest the stems for eating, the plant will send out some spectacular flowers. Rhubarb can… Continue reading

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