Artichokes in a bowl

Artichoke Season

Vegetable or flower? I guess it depends on your point of view.

In the ornamental garden outside our neighbourhood restaurant, artichokes are grown for their lovely purple flowers, and never eaten. But in our own garden, we cut them long before their flowers can form, to enjoy as tender young vegetables.

Botanically, artichokes are a type of thistle, but unlike most of their cousins, they’re very welcome in the garden. These undemanding perennials keep on producing delicious morsels all summer long. And to my eye, the fascinating shapes and subtle hues make an artichoke’s vegetable form every bit as beautiful as its flower. Almost – though not quite – too pretty to eat.

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About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer and writer focusing on nature and the environment

12 responses »

  1. Robin says:

    Beautiful image, Laurie. They are so lovely I’m not sure if I’m yearning to eat them or just admire them. 🙂

  2. Sherry Galey says:

    I love this image of the artichokes, particularly the soft tones and shapes. I love eating them but sadly have never eaten one that I have grown. Must be quite a treat!

  3. Well done, Laurie, wow I love those colors and details! I had no idea before my visit here today as to the depth and interest behind the artichoke… I’ll never look at one the same way again, that’s for sure!

  4. Vegetable, flower or beautiful photograph–they’re all lovely!

  5. Spy Garden says:

    I just posted a few pics of my artichokes yesterday. We have enjoyed eating some from the garden this year, but the remaining ones are so pretty I don’t think I can bear to cut them! Definitely lots of art in artichokes!

    • Thanks for the visit and comment. I had a look at your artichoke pics and they’re lovely – quite a different shape than mine, so presumably a different variety. We usually eat ours all summer, then let the last one or two go to flower. Nice either way. Enjoy!

  6. ehpem says:

    They are lovely as flowers, and as vegetables on the stalk, and on the plate. I like the reversal of the expected here – you would think a restaurant would be growing them for food, and that a home owner would be appreciating the flowers.

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