Last year I've planted some artichoke, from seed. The seedlings grew indoors all through the Autumn of 2011, failed to be recognised as such by any of the old wise readers of this blog - in spite of my rambunctious challenges and remonstrances - and met the outside dirt in late Spring.
They grew happily in a somewhat shadier spot by a fence, never flowered, just doing their thing looking like some sort of Carduus which technically they ain't but practically sort-of emulate.
Then Winter came. We had a particularly cold and snowy Winter, about three feet of snow fell right the night before some local electoral agitations which resulted in a sad display of the emptiness of the promises of the recently voted in Mayor & troop of twerps. Twerps who, of course, got their office on promises of "change" and "stark contrast" to the "incompetence" of the outgoing town administration. While nobody contests the sheer incompetence of the previous troop of twerps, there's little room to deny that the current troop is, in fact, even worse. This is the way "progress" and "change" usually work in politics anyway, but we digress.
The artichokes sat under a blanket of snow for three months, undisturbed. They did not shed the leaves. Everything else did, including all the trees, all the shrubs, all the thistles and everything else. Not the artichoke. When the snow melted off its leaves last week they sparkled emerald in the Sun, and here we are :
Can you believe this ?! I scarcely can believe my very eyes. Who ever heard of artichoke wintering outside, in the snow, and keeping its foliage ?
If anyone is interested in starting a research lab dedicated to this alien plant let me know, we can probably work out something.