|'Vert de Laon' is one of the best-flavored varieties of artichoke available. When starting from seed, do everything you can to induce rapid growth in the plants, because in the end it will result in a bigger harvest. Start seeds inside between February and March, and transplant out in 8 weeks, after the soil has warmed and there is no danger of frost. 20% of the plants will probably not produce flowers, so cull the smaller ones on transplanting. Next season's crop will be rooted offshoots of the parent plants. To harvest: cut the flowers before they begin to open.