I thought I had lost my cardoons in last winters severe snow & frost but they started sprouting eventually only to be attacked by my chickens who ate the tender leaves. I think they will come back but only if we have rain. We are in drought mode here in southern England at the moment.....it is very serious. Our weather seems to have gone mad in the last 3 years.
Hattie, my hens have never bothered the cardoon, for some reason. They do go after the rhubarb when it's first bubbling out of the ground, but not the cardoon. We have to keep them pretty confined lately, though, we lost our first hen to a fox (of course it was my favorite, Henny-Penny ). They no longer have free range for hours on end out there. I'm not even going to put up the fence this year, because we're out there with them for the hour or so that we let them range before dark.
How is the Cardoon doing this year?
This is such a special and interesting old topic. Only Cardoon I ever grew was in pots that we sold at the nursery. My boss planted one in an expensive large pottery urn. It got so large it was stuck in it.