Cardoon, last look

Friday I spent most of the cold, blustery day working in the garden. I took a few minutes off from chores though to notice and enjoy a few plants that are looking particularly good right now.



The first is the cardoon. I've got two plants in my garden right now, and even though both are looking great, they sure look different from each other. (I've mentioned this before)

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The first is the smaller of the two plants:


It did very little this year -- didn't even flower -- but has the leaf form that first attracted me to this plant originally:


The leaves are big and bold, making such a statement in the garden.

The second plant is the one that flowered and then produced new basal growth this year:


It's obviously larger than the other plant, but the leaves are so different. They're much more dissected than the other plant's, giving it a more spiky look:


Whereas the plant had just a single growing point this past year, there are at least six now, all surrounding the original plant (whose dead stalk you can see in this photo):


This plant is not unattractive, but I'd much rather see the bigger leaves of the other plant. Here's a photo of the first cardoon I grew from a few years back:

2006

That's the plant I fell in love with, not the jagged-leaved form that I have now in this one plant.

The silvery-blue foliage is so wonderful though, regardless of the leaf form:



Don't get me wrong -- I'm really hoping that both of these plants make it through the winter again, as I'd rather have the spiky-leaved cardoon than no cardoon at all. 

But if I had to choose just one to survive through the winter, I'd choose the smaller plant with the "better" leaves. That other one is getting so impressively large though...


With nighttime temperatures in the 20-25ºF (-4 to -6ºC) range this week these plants will soon be losing their foliage, so I most likely won't post about them again until the spring.

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Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (November 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM)  

The leaves on the 2nd plant look more like a globe artichoke than a cardoon. I actually love those deeply bisected leaves. I hope both will make it through the winter.

Lisa  – (November 25, 2012 at 5:40 PM)  

"Cardoon". I just like saying the name!

Kudos to you for being out in the cold! Days like this I just gaze longingly out the window and dream of spring!

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