The recent vague de froid — the cold wave — might have been good for a lot of the trees and plants in our garden, but the artichoke plants didn't enjoy it much. December and January had been so mild that they put up a lot of new growth and were looking beautiful.
Then came the hard freeze, which lasted two weeks. After the snow melted on Monday and Tuesday, I found our three artichoke plants completely flattened, splayed out on the ground. The big outer leaves are still green, but the heart of the plant seems to be dead. I wonder why those leaves stayed so green.
I also noticed a fully formed artichoke flower on one plant. Lying on its back inside the artichoke is a fire bug — un gendarme — that looks to be as dead as the plant. That firebug might not come back to life, but thousands of others will be gathering along the path over the next couple of months. We'll see if the artichokes come back.