Friday, 26 September 2008


I was doing my regulation digging yesterday, when Angelo came and gave me a bundle of artichoke plants. He said, "Plant them now, or if you don't, put them in water overnight." He wanted me to plant them along the outer edge of my allotment, but I said, no, it's not clean yet. They grow like weeds along the other edge, in his brother, Joe's plot, and other Italians have them too.

I was delighted with this gift. Either Angelo or Joe had promised me some artichoke plants some time ago, but I'd never got them till now. I suppose Angelo must have been thinning them out: he said they don't produce heads unless they are far enough apart, and I haven't seen any heads on the ones at the edge of my plot.

Anyway, I thought I'd plant them on the Salvation Army allotment for the time being, and went straight up there, knackered as I was, and put five in along the edge. As I was passing, Joe passed, and he said, "Oh, you take artichoke plants from my brother, eh, but not from me! If you want any more, just say." After I'd planted those six, I decided to call it a day, and brought the rest home, and put them in a watering can full of water overnight.

Today, I thought I'd plant one in the little plot outside my front door - they are very ornamental when they grow big and produce heads. More than one would swamp the plot, so I took the rest back to the SA allotment, and started clearing the space between the strawberries and the tarpaulin they've put down. Officially, my half of the plot ends between the two rows of strawberries, but as they left that scrap to go wild, and didn't even eat the strawberries or the broad beans that I so kindly donated to them, I am taking it back, and planting a hedge of artichokes between us. (They'll probably dig them up, out of ignorance).

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