Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring is poised to take off, running.

I'm not at all sure if this is a good idea. Some things that start small, like a seed, just get out of hand when they take off, growing.
Like the cardoons I have started, in the area in my basement I fondly refer to as my grow-op. Brother Ross, living on Vancouver Island, intimates that the sound of that is - uh - illegal - or suspicious. But there is really nothing to worry about, with cardoons.
Or is there?
I'm none too sure, myself. See, I have this new yard to figure out this year. When we moved in last year, I spent August and September busy, cutting things down. Lots of dead, diseased, damaged shrubs. Two trees, one an enormous poplar, came down. 10 yards of compost were delivered, and spread. Some went into the two new raised beds we have for vegetables, some covered an area of lawn, where two colorado blue spruce and a gaggle of shrubs have been planted, ready to create 'ambience' next to the boulevard, and shade from the western sun in the long June evenings we have here in Calgary.
Cardoons are thistles, really. Large thistles. I've tried artichokes here, and they are thistles too. Actually, I have 5 growing now, under the lights. But I've read that Cardoons will grow faster and better, and they look pretty cool, I think. Plus, you get to pick the leaves, cut out the ribs to steam them, and serve with lemon butter. They are supposed to taste like - guess what? - artichokes! Artichokes can get chokes here, if they grow fast enough to miss the early frost we can get by Labor Day. Or the snow that sometimes comes on the long weekend in August. Cardoons, I'm told, with some hearty Scottish heritage, may be a sturdier stock. Able to put up with the vagaries of our Chinooks and Prairie challenges.
So, Spring, give me what you've got. I'm getting ready for the moment it looks like you are running into Summer, so that these beauties can go outside. Then we'll see what happens.
As for this blog? Well. Let's see what grows here. Hopefully it will be something that fits, and doesn't run amok.

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