were the stars of the garden party.
Not hard to see why...
The green globes, if left unharvested,
put on quite a phenomenal floral display.
(if you aren't interested in the "show," harvest when the leaves are still tightly clasped.)
When they begin to open & look like this:
it's a bit too late ~ they're almost ready to bloom!
As seen in the photo below ~ taken a day or so later:
Showy even at this early stage.
But it only gets better...
I love the way the petals unfurl from the outside in.... until finally, you're left with this ~ a "furry" center surrounded by blueish/purple (almost iridescent) spikes:
The bees go crazy ~ their whole bodies covered in pollen before they move on.
It's been such a positive experience, I can't recommend growing them enough.
Even if they aren't high on your food pyramid ~ you'll be blown away by the spectacular blooms and equally impressive foliage. An all-around fabulous architectural plant for the garden.
Not to mention the excitement they create for garden guests!
I know I am fully converted ~ they'll be "staples" in all my future gardens for years to come!
p.s. My niece ate three & the aroma they created while steaming was almost as delicious as the meat. Sort of "nutty." Totally different than the store bought artichokes we've steamed before....