Artichoke ‘Violet de Provence’


Artichoke ‘Violet de Provence’ are not only delicious, but beautiful plants too. A finer flavour than the green variety in some peoples opinion.

A few years ago we spent a week in Brittany surrounded by artichoke fields at harvest time.  We gorged on buttery suppers of them and I got out my sketchbook (actually quite a good likeness I must say).  At home in Tunbridge Wells, we have four plants, grown from seed that we replace every few years – these remind us of holidays and sunshine and buttery goodness in the French countryside.

Whilst they can be a bit of a fiddle to prepare, having grown them yourself, it doesn’t feel quite so bad or wasteful to have a go. Picked small (about the size of a golf ball), they can be eaten whole without much work in the way of preparation as the hairy choke has yet to form. But the temptation is to let them grow a bit bigger (maybe I’m just greedy), and then they need a little more effort. When bought from a market, I don’t want to waste any of them, but when you’ve got them in the garden, you can practice your preparation skills easily.

Common name Artichoke
Latin name Cynara scolymus
Variety Violet de Provence
Plant size Height: 200 cm
Width: 60 cm
Planting indoors Feb to Apr
Planting outdoors to
Aug to Oct
Light Full sun to partial shade

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