Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The really wonderful thing about gardening is, the surprise that invariably comes about when you're growing a great many things. One of those surprises came tonight. It was completely unexpected, and I'm still scratching my head. This should not have happened. It's just too darn hot to happen. But happen it did, and I have the proof in the way of photos. The wife -- Venus -- has the proof in the form of DINNER!

As I have explained before in this blog, we do grow artichokes. And, given the right space, water and fertlizer, artichokes will do well here in Sacramento. But, unlike coastal areas, you get only ONE season. Coastal areas get two -- one in the spring and one in the fall. In Sacramento, you get the spring. The summers are just too brutal on the artichoke plants. This is how they normally look in late spring -- early summer -- wilted, dying back, not happy. The last thing you would expect, is a new crop of artichokes.

Not so fast.

Tonight -- I spotted that new crop. And I've never seen this before. Most artichokes produce right about the same time, no matter what the variety is. You get about a month of spring-time production, and that's it. Then the plants die back completely, before sending out new, tender shoots in the fall.

But tonight -- I noticed four very new, ready to pick artichokes in the bed of dying, wilting plants. When I moved the dying plants aside, what did I find? A new plant that had sprung up in my 4X8 gardening bed. A new plant? Now? In this heat? Unheard of at the old home.
But, perhaps it's because that bed was smaller? Not enough room? I'm just not sure.

What I can tell you is this much: This is the result. Four, ready-to-pick, artichokes. They don't look old, withered and tough, which is normally what most artichokes grown in Sacramento look like this time of year. Nope. This looks like normal, fresh, early spring growth.

Except, it's not early spring. It's June 17th. Temperatures have been in the upper nineties for awhile now. According to my previous gardening experience, this shouldn't be happening now.

But it is.

And tonight, the wife has a surprise for dinner (I'm eating leftover pizza!)

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