Meander Valley Gazette

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In the garden with Nell Carr

Meander StyleJoanne Eisemann

February 2019 | Nell Carr

TEMPERATURES FOR the first weeks of this year could well compare with those of the mainland states.

So far, rainfall has been negligible and many of the drought tender perennials are wilting in the heat.

Two ornamentals which have survived are the Agapanthus and the spectacular two-metre-high Cardoon, Cynara cardunculus, or the ornamental Globe Artichoke (pictured).

Both can be invasive and so flowering heads should be removed as soon as they begin to fade. In fact, it would not be too much of a loss if the flowers of the Cardoon were removed quite early, as its principle attractiveness lies in its huge silver grey deeply cut leaves. If left to seed, the thistle-down from this plant will invade neighbouring gardens.

Vegetables

One vegetable which does need liberal water is the delectable dwarf green bean, which is now beginning to bear. These should be harvested while slim and tender. Those pods surplus to immediate requirements freeze very well. Top and tail them, blanch them in boiling water, cool them in icy water, pat them dry, and freeze them in butter boxes.

Ornamental Globe Artichoke

Ornamental Globe Artichoke