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Gardening with Laurie: Gardening a favorite pastime for many reasons

By Victoria Advocate
Oct. 11, 2012 at 5:11 a.m.

Strange vegetables. Kids are more likely to eat a purple, green, orange or chartreuse cauliflower before trying the common white variety.

By Laurie Garretson

Ask any gardener what they like most about gardening and you'll probably get a different answer from everyone.

Some gardeners like to garden because they enjoy being outdoors.

Some organic gardeners love the fact that the crops they grow have no synthetic or manmade products on them.

Other gardeners enjoy growing beautiful flowers.

Some gardeners enjoy growing one specific type of plant, such as ferns, begonias, plumarias, etc.

Then there are gardeners who like to garden for multiple reasons. They like working in the soil. They like the feel and the smell of the soil. They enjoy being outside closer to nature. They enjoy growing plants of all kinds, especially new and unusual types of plants.

That's the type gardener I am.

I really do love all aspects of gardening. One specific part of gardening I enjoy is growing uncommon plants. I love to walk through the produce section of bigger grocery stores, especially Whole Foods, and see all kinds of unusual looking and uncommon fruits and vegetables.

We are limited to what will and what won't grow in our area. But I think it's fun just trying to see if I can make an unusual plant that I've never grown before happy in my gardens.

I think one of the first uncommon types of plants that I tried growing was probably an artichoke. This was many years ago, when many people didn't even know what an artichoke was, much less how to grow one.

I don't even remember where the plant came from. I do remember that I had never seen an artichoke plant ever before. So, it was something different and fun to try. If it grew well, I new the chokes off my plant would be even better than those I bought from the grocer.

I planted it, and it was very happy in my garden for a few years before it died.

Another plant I tried growing was horseradish. This turned out to be even easier than growing the artichoke plant.

Horseradish is not something that my family cared to eat, but I had several friends who happily took all that I could grow.

Today, I'm into different types of cauliflower. I've always liked eating and growing the common white variety of cauliflower, but now days, I find it a lot more fun to grow the purple, orange, yellow or chartreuse types.

These types could really add some very interesting color to a flowerbed, as well as your typical vegetable garden. These also make fun crops to grow for children.

Kids are more likely to eat a purple, green, orange or chartreuse cauliflower before trying the common white variety.

The extraordinary head of the chartreuse variety cauliflower is made up of multiply spiral mounds. It has a nutty flavor unlike the other types.

Nowadays, gardeners can usually find seeds and transplants for all kinds of different and fun plants to try.

Until next time, lets try to garden with nature not against it and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to laurie@vicad.com or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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