The weather’s warming up in this neck-of-the-woods and I want to get some sunflowers in the ground soon. These plants from last summer were the result of three generations of seed-saving from some purchased “Russian Mammoth” seeds. Big huge heads with delicious seeds sit atop some really beefy stalks!

Carrot (above) and buckwheat flowers - some members of these two plant families (Apiaceae and Polygonaceae) attract ladybugs to the garden and we like ladybugs because they eat aphids. So let your carrots flower once in a while… their flowers are also not too hard on the eyes. 

Artichoke Flowers - Beautiful Food

Artichokes are some delicious thistles. The choke that you eat is actually an unopened flower covered in a tight arrangement of bracts. If you allow the chokes to mature well past the edible stage the flowers will reveal themselves. Just don’t let them set seed as they can be terrible weeds. I have a short row of artichoke plants tucked away in a sheltered spot on the farm. They are perennials which means they grow year after year and provide me with a nice long harvest of chokes in the late winter. I expect them to start producing buds in the next few weeks.