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Tony Grist

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Strange Growths Of A Secret Garden [Aug. 20th, 2019|11:33 am]
Tony Grist
We have longstanding permission to go wandering around our neighbours' garden- which was created for the socially aspirant son of a Victorian railway millionaire. Yesterday I took my daughter and great nephew on a tour. Alice said she felt like she should have shown her NT membership card at the gate.

There's a walled garden. Last time I looked round it was all neat and orderly but it's been neglected over the summer so now looks like a place where statues might come alive or time slips happen. There was a chap digging in there- mitigating the ghostliness and beginning the process of setting it up to look smart for the new year. We filched a few raspberries. My great nephew retained a couple to give to his younger brother and sister.

I was drawn to these great monarchical, spiky things...

...and had a conversation with myself that went a bit like this.

"They look like artichokes, but they can't be...

Why not?

Because artichokes grow close to the ground- like cabbages- or so I've always assumed...

That's because you've only seen them in shops- being marketed as a food-stuff.

So are they artichokes?

Why don't you look it up?"

So I did. And they are artichokes- and artichokes turn out to be a kind of thistle.

[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2019-08-20 12:37 pm (UTC)
I knew that! Mostly because I've seen them growing in pots at Longwood Garden. But I've never seen them after the fact.

Did you take any seeds? I am picturing you and Ailz starting your very own artichoke farm just out the back door.

EDIT: Meant to add that your niblings are a handsome folk.

Edited at 2019-08-20 12:37 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2019-08-20 12:38 pm (UTC)
(Ooops....daughter and great-nephew. So daughter and great-nibling. Not niblings, plural. Still, they are a handsome folk.)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-20 12:56 pm (UTC)
I didn't think to take seeds. But then it would have involved damaging the plant and that would have seemed like smashing up an artwork.
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2019-08-20 01:50 pm (UTC)
That fellow with a spade is likely to damage the plant more than you would if you took a pinch of seed from one of the seed heads. If they're ripe, they should just slide out easily without damaging the rest of the ensemble.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-20 03:29 pm (UTC)
Well then, I might...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-08-20 03:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

We had a get-together of family members who rarely meet- my sister's son's family (two boys and a girl) and my daughter's family (two girls). They get on famously. It's a pity they don't live nearer.
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