Posts tagged perennial plant
Abundant Artichokes

Artichokes In My Winter Potager With all of the winter rains we've had here in Southern California, my artichokes have blossomed quickly into new plants. Artichokes in zone 9 are a perennial. It is recommended to plant them in the back of your potager or kitchen garden so as not to take away sunlight from other shorter plants growing. Artichokes are so structural at 4 feet high x 6-8 feet wide, they can easily be planted throughout your gardens and in key focal points, too.

Artichokes take full sun and regular water. They can be started in the winter to early spring as small plants, and also by seed if you are patient. Known for their silver green leaves with big flower buds that eventually mature into delicious home-grown "chokes." If the artichoke buds are not harvested, these buds transform themselves into purple-blue thistle 6" flowers. These flowers can be used as spectacular cut flowers or they can be dried for mute-toned fall arrangements.

Artichokes have many reasons to be planted in your garden.Their showy tall plant structure and foliage. Delicious mature artichokes which can be cooked in so many ways.  Showy eye-catching flowers to bring inside. Seeing my artichokes do so well this year, it reminded me of the great wedding planner and stylist,  Colin Cowie's sensational Artichoke Vinaigrette. Recipe follows.

"Artichoke Vinaigrette"

One fresh artichoke heart,  or 2 canned artichoke hearts 1/4 cup Fresh Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard 1 Tbsp. Chopped Shallots 1/4 tsp Salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Puree artichokes and fresh lemon juice in a blender until creamy. Transfer to a small mixing bowl, blend together artichoke-lemon puree with mustard, shallots, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil. Makes 1 and 1/3 cups vinaigrette. Serve over fresh mixed greens, or use as a glaze for fish during and after grilling. Enjoy!

Please share your favorite artichoke recipe. Please share if you grow artichokes in your garden.

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Highlighting Pelargonium "Limelight"

Springtime Pelargonium Limelight We are well into our wonderful fall splendor with its warm glowing autumn hues, so why am I mentioning the springtime Pelargonium "Limelight"? Because it is a must-have perennial in your garden. I thought if I highlighted it in the fall, it might afford you some time to find it, plant it, and enjoy it this upcoming spring.

Please forgive me as I really don't have a source for you either. You will have to diligently search the Internet for possible mail-order nurseries who might carry it or maybe request it at your favorite local nursery. My Pelargonium "Limelight" was a gift from a friend, in the form of a dainty small cutting. Aren't those the best kind of gifts? So put this one on your plant "wish list", and keep your eye out for it.

Pelargonium "Limelight" is a perennial which absolutely glows in the spring with its beautiful chartreuse foliage and dainty pink flowers. It is a pelargonium that is well-suited for zones 8, 9-11, and will grow in partial shade to sunny spots with moderate watering. I really think it thrives best in shady spots. If you are looking for the chartreuse foliage color in a very sunny spot, I suggest you look at the wonderful Euphorbia plant varieties. Pelargonium "Limelight" does have a tendency to want to climb slightly 1' to 3', as it grows and matures. I have it growing at the base of one of my arbors which is in a shaded, supported, and protected spot. Pelargonium "Limelight" gets the attention it deserves, as you pass through my arbor.

A few springs ago, I had the pleasure of a visiting local garden club, and everyone wanted to know the name of this perennial, Pelargonium "Limelight". Are you familiar with Pelargonium "Limelight", and have it growing in your garden now? Do you have trouble finding showy plants for your shady areas? Do you share with your friends "garden cutting" gifts?