Have you seen one of these before? I hadn’t, until we moved in to our house six years ago. It is an artichoke that has been left to flower. Isn’t it magnificent? Kind of structural and prehistoric looking, in the way a passion flower is. A couple of months ago my mom was visiting. She picked a few, sliced and steamed them, and added them to couscous. I was pretty impressed. We had never eaten them before, and just enjoyed the flowering. They attract lots of bees, too. They burrow in between the florets as if in bee nirvana. Some don’t come out. I wonder if it is a sweet death, gorged on whatever it is they are eating in there.
The third photo shows the mystery plant that Chloe brought home from preschool earlier this summer. Turns out it is a sunflower. A giant sunflower. If I’d have known that I would not have planted it in our vegetable garden. It perplexes me that the teacher wouldn’t have chosen something smaller, but c’est la vie. I’ve kind of grown to like it. And the rest of our garden? Despite not giving it as much attention this year (with the baby and all), it is doing better than ever. Who would have guessed?