We have been growing globe artichokes and cardoons in The Torridon gardens. The cardoons, in particular have impressive thistle-like purple flower heads and look like something from a science fiction movie. The bracts surrounding the flowers provide our chefs with a gourmet delicacy, requiring a lot of preparation but worth it in the end. Unsurprisingly, cardoons are spiky to handle. We lost some weaker plants through a hard winter and it takes two to four years for the plants to really produce. However we will grow more from seed and eventually we will have a whole army marching across the garden again.