Artistic Artichoke Photos – Unlikely Subject Matter

Close-up of green artichoke on plant

Artistic artichoke photos were certainly an unlikely photography subject matter for me. I suppose if you’re a foodie/food blogger, artichoke farmer or the like, photos of artichokes would not be out of the ordinary. However considering what I tend to focus on, it is unusual. Needless to say I do LOVE eating artichokes in their different forms – from stuffed to marinated!

My Personal History with Artichokes

My mother was literally an “off the boat” little Italian woman. Small but mighty especially with her cooking!! Her stuffed artichokes were legendary and my dad and I would fight for the last one when she cooked them. It was quite a process which she would start early in the morning and they were worth the wait!

The were your more traditional big green globe artichokes – you know the ones you see in most of the grocery stores. I suppose their size lends themselves to stuffing. But there are certainly many other varieties. 

Green globe artichoke
Green globe artichoke – ideal for stuffing!

A visit to Italy to visit cousins and you’d see vendors with the beds of their trucks filled with baby artichokes. These are the kind that don’t have the spiny interior and you can pretty much eat the whole thing. My aunt cooking these little gems in olive oil and garlic is a fond memory indeed – needless to say joyful to the tastebuds!

Why Artichoke Photos?

In my visits to different Botanic Gardens, oddly enough I’ve stumbled across various artichoke plants. I don’t believe I ever actually knew how they grew till I saw them growing au-natural. And they got my attention. The plants get quite large and they bud artichokes. With a bit of research I’ve learned: “The artichoke belongs to the same family as thistles, sunflowers, lettuce, salsify, chrysanthemums, and thousands of other species.”

So began what I call “artistic artichoke” photos. This first photo (see below) was taken at the Denver Botanic Gardens. I love all the shades of purples and greens of the leaves. Having been used to seeing just the green variety, I thought these were pretty cool. My Velvet 56 lens captured the photo with a more “artistic” flair which I really liked.

Artistic artichoke photos with purple and green leaves.
Close-up of artichoke with purple and greens leaves.
Artichokes with colorful flowers in background.
Artichokes growing at Chatfield Farms.

At the Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms (an extension of the Denver Botanic Gardens ) I came across these artichokes in the photo to the right.

Growing upright with their purple tinted leaves and the colorful flowers in the background it made for an unusual photo.

With their opening leaves, the way these artichokes were growing looked more like flowers rather than a vegetable.

Perhaps there are more ornamental varieties? But they looked to be part of the veggie gardens at the farm.

Given their appearance, it’s hard to believe something so tasty lies within the leaves.

At the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden…

A early summer visit to the ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden was a new adventure. Sadly I had missed the cactus flower bloom cycle *sigh*. Gotta get there by mid-May to capture those as they have a great cactus garden area. It’s definitely on my cactus flower photography “to-do” list!

The ABQ Gardens are beautiful and certainly worth a visit should you find yourself in the area. Exploring around the gardens, I came across their veggie gardens. Low and behold there were all these different artichoke plants! Different shapes and sizes and they looked mighty happy growing away. At first I walked by them, but then I back-tracked and started taking photos.  Again with my Velvet 56 lens, it gave them a more artistic artichoke appearance and I really love how some them turned out. 

A cluster of young artichokes on plant.
A cluster of artichokes growing on plant.
Young green artichokes on plant.
Young artichokes with their pointy green leaves.

I suppose that’s some of the beauty of wandering around gardens – just observing before you even take out your camera. You never know what’s going to capture your attention and you can be fascinated at the least likely things 🙂

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