What is it about gardeners having a passion for growing unique garden plants? It seems that no matter where we go to visit a fellow gardener, they always have one or two “special” plants that they love to grow and show.
And that of course includes us as well! One of the things we look forward to every year is trying out something new or unique in the garden. Sometimes it’s a flop, and sometimes its the greatest thing since sliced bread. But the real fun is in simply trying!
So with that in mind, we thought we would showcase 4 unique garden plants that can make a statement in your garden this year. And if you have a few of your own you grow, be sure to add them in the comments section below to share.
4 Unique Garden Plants To Grow This Year
Talk about a garden conversation piece, the artichoke is one unique garden plant! The best part is that contrary to popular belief, it can be grown almost anywhere.
If you get a minimum of 100 frost-free days, then you can try your hand at growing artichokes! They grow big – up to several feet in diameter. Each stem of the plant will grow several artichokes, and the plants big size and showy blooms are a beautiful sight in the garden.
When the artichoke becomes about the size of an apple, it is ready to harvest. It’s important to pick while the petals are still formed tightly around the core for maximum flavor.
In warmer climates, they are grown as a perennial, but for those with colder winters, they are an annual.
Even if you never have the slightest intentions of making your own beer, hops are a cool crop to grow simply for their beauty in the landscape! Hops are actually a perennial crop known as a “bine”, and not a vine.
They can grow up to 25 feet or more in a single year, making them perfect for growing up a trellis or along a fence line to create a focal point or privacy block. And the hop cones that form on the plants are simply beautiful, and make for quite the conversation piece.
We are planting them for the first time this year to grow and cover the top of our pergola near the barn.
Hop bines are unique in that they are cut back to the ground each year and grow new from the crown.
Of course, if you have ever wanted to try your hand at creating your own beer, you will have a home-made supply of hops ready to go! Product link : Hops Plants
Brussel sprouts are another cool-looking visual crop to grow! I honestly didn’t even know if I liked them, but happened to be at a farmers market a few years back and loved the way they looked.
We bought a few stalks, brought them home and loved the taste!
They are basically mini-cabbages that grow on stalks. In the garden, they take up little space, growing 18 to 24″ vertically to form their stalks.
They can be enjoyed both raw or cooked. Our favorite way to make them is to simply roast with a little olive oil and garlic. Delicious!
You actually wait to pick brussel sprouts until after the first frost. The cold actually accentuates and enhances the flavor.
Although it may come as a surprise to many, popcorn does not grow in flat bags filled with preservatives! The microwave bags of popcorn have sadly given this incredibly nutritious snack a bad wrap in the last 10 years.
The home-grown version, popped with air or a little olive oil is actually one of the healthiest and delicious snacks you can ever eat. It’s also one of the easiest crops to grow, harvest, and store.
Popcorn is planted and grown exactly like sweet corn. except the husks are left on the stalks to dry instead of picking fresh. And the colors of the ears are simply beautiful!
They make perfect ornamental corn decorations for fall tables and more. We grow Strawberry, Black Dakota and Ladyfinger varieties in a few raised rows. Popcorn Seed Link
It allows us enough to last us for snacks the year around. See; How To Grow Popcorn
Happy Gardening! – Jim and Mary. If you would like to receive our DIY, Gardening and Recipe articles each week, you can sign up to follow the blog via email in the right hand column above, “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. This article may contain affiliate links.