Artichokes, Cardoon, and Asparagus
Artichokes for the South, Asparagus for the North, you are lucky if your climate will support both. Both are wonderful perennials, growing year after year, producing some of the most beloved garden vegetables. A well established asparagus bed will produce some of the first garden foods of the year, poking their tender spears through the early spring soil. If you live in a cooler climate, with snow and temperatures below freezing at night in the winter, then asparagus is the perennial for you.
Artichokes are the unripe flowers of the artichoke plant. The tender core is highly prized for its delicate flavor. If you live in a warmer climate, zones 7 and above, then artichokes are your best choice. Some artichoke varieties can be grown in zone 6 and even 5 if you are very careful to protect them during the winter with mulch.