That yellow flower in the garden – it’s an artichoke!

Flavio pergola Oct 15

Earlier this month we posted the picture above of these lovely yellow flowers bringing Autumn colour to our garden, but we confessed that neither we nor our gardener Flavio Terenzoni (who took the photo) knew their name. Watermill guest Bob Milton has, however, provided the answer: they are Jerusalem artichokes. And they are foreign invaders, just like the bamboos that crowd by the riverside below the mill.

And, of course they don’t come from Jerusalem and they are not artichokes, although they are in the same botanical family. When first discovered by Europeans, in North America, the plant was called girasole, sunflower in Italian – and it is in the same genus as the common-or-garden sunflower. Girasole transmuted into Jerusalem.

We’ve been seeing Jerusalem artichokes in the shops and markets this Autumn – and we’ve been roasting them with other vegetables – delicious. So they are lovely to look at and good to eat, a great combination.

We can promise you wonderful flowers all season round in the Watermill gardens, lovingly maintained by Flavio – and you’ll even get to eat nasturtium and borage flowers in our salads.

Nasturtiium salad reduced

And here’s another photograph by Flavio of  the flower of a proper (globe) artichoke in our gardem, providing sustenance for the bees.

Flavio bee flower

So, please come and see for yourselves and join us on one of our creative courses — painting, knitting, Italian language, yoga and meditation – next year. We’d love to welcome you here. You can find more details of all our courses by clicking here.

Early Bird discount: book now!

If you book before 31 December 2015 there’s a £75 per person discount on this fabulous 2016 painting holiday.

 *** Why not bring your non-painting partner as well? There’s a generous £200 discount for him/her if they share a room with you — and there’s plenty for them to do. Have a look at our Partner’s Activities suggestions by clicking here.

Group in garden square 300dpi - Copy

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