An Artichoke Among the Sages

An Artichoke Among the Sages

by / 8 Comments / 1988 View / March 8, 2009

I enjoyed an artichoke recently that was so delicious and "meaty" that I couldn't stop thinking about it for a few days.

The artichoke was grilled, somewhat charred and I devoured it,  sans dip.

I was fantasizing about a dressing I can make with the Meyer lemons in my garden, some olive oil, garlic and a sprig of tarragon.

I'm like that.

I can be obsessive about food and when I fall for a vegetable, I have to plant it in my garden!


 Artichoke Weather!

My zone 10 garden in Los Angeles is ideal for growing artichokes and March is the perfect time to dig transplants into the garden.

The evenings are cool and daytime temperatures are in the 60-70 degree range, ideal climate conditions for artichokes. 


With two, one-gallon artichoke plants in my arms, I headed for the backyard in search of the perfect spot to plant my "chokes."




My Mediterranean garden with olive tree, dwarf pomegranate, sages, Vitex  and succulents


Artichokes can grow from 4 to 5 feet tall and just as wide, so the new home for this perennial had to accommodate its mature size.

Full sun conditions and well draining soil are on the top of the list of artichoke requirements.

Artichokes don't do well when they have to "swim" to survive. 


These are sun plants…think " Tuscan sun."




This bare area in my garden looks like the perfect spot for my artichoke.


I've had a bare spot in my "hummingbird garden" for a while and fancied a glistening, silver-colored plant there.

My sage plants needed a good neighbor that would compliment their vivid red flowers without stealing away too much attention!


I considered an artemisia, convolvulus, or santolina, but these plants couldn't compete with the artichoke's silver foliage and the fact that it was edible and I could eat it.

So, I was resolute on adding artichokes to my Mediterranean garden!


Look at that beautiful baby artichoke plant! I'm so proud of it.


Planting An Artichoke

I prepared the planting hole by adding organic compost and set the artichoke with the crown slightly above the soil surface to discourage rotting.


Cold climate gardeners are able to grow this "sun" plant as an annual potted plant and shelter it indoors during the winter time.

Care during the growing season is not intensive, artichokes need a little side dressing of nitrogen about once a month and that's it.


Within approximately 110 days, I should have some edible globes to salivate over, (artichokes usually won't reward you with globes until the second season).

In the meantime, I'll keep my eyes peeled for pests, and relish the beauty of the attractive artichoke foliage.

It looks beautiful among the sages. 

I'll also keep an eye out for my dog, "Whiggy" who insists on helping me "side dress"  plants with urea. He's too cute to call a "pest!"

8 Comment

  1. […] marinated or steamed, artichokes are a gourmet treat from the […]

  2. […] are “focal point” plants in my mediterranean garden along with sages and lavender, but I harvest the best ones for […]

  3. Last year I used artichokes as annuals in my edible garden. I knew they’d never produce for me (in NE PA the season is too short) but they looked great and the deer never touched them. Maybe this year I’ll try over wintering them indoors. Hope I see you next week at the Flower Show.

  4. That burst of silver should look great in that spot. Better to harvest and eat ‘chokes and just stare at a Astelia ‘Silver Spear’ doing nuthin’ but lookin’ purty. Seize ya next week in San Mateo, chica.

  5. Hi Renate-
    Thanks for dropping in and commenting. I just visited your site and enjoyed your post on the native plant design.

    Anna- Good to see you! As a matter of fact, my garden has a special lighting design for the night time and I will be sharing that sometime in the future. “Nightscaping” will be the subject. When in NC, I’ll have to see your yard sometime, I’m sure it is even more beautiful than the photos.
    WHiggy is very spoiled and needs to lose 5 pounds. HIs coat is gorgeous though, isn’t it? I love how the color glows in the sunlight. You have a granddog? What is that exactly?

  6. Your garden does look very tuscan and warm. I see you have lots of accent lights and I’m imagining the look after hours too. When you get even more famous than you are now, will you put accent lights in my garden with your excess money? I want to have after hours ambience just like you.

    Whiggy looks spoiled and use to being the center of attention. He’s very handsome. His coat looks healthy and soft. My grand dog just went home. I’ve had her for a week. Wow–what an adjustment. She’s on normal people’s time. You know, those people who work for a living. She got me up at 6am and then she snored while I stayed up until all hours. I loved it though. Seems too quiet around here now.

    That little artichoke plant looks good mixed in with the dark greens and reds. I hope you are dipping the fruits in butter soon.

  7. This will be great! Artichokes are such attractive plants!

  8. does anyone know if you can grow artichoke in south louisiana?? can you explain the hardships of growing them down here?

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