I love fresh artichokes and I've had great luck with Imperial Star, which has produced wonderful harvest of 'chokes here in Virginia Beach, so when I saw that The Natural Gardening Company catalog included Imperial Start plants I had to have some.
Normally, I have to start the seeds early enough that they are hardy enough to go out for a chill couple of weeks before being planted out, thereby fooling the biennial genes in the artichoke into thinking it just enjoyed the world's shortest winter. Even so, I've generally had to winter them over to get a big harvest.
My plan is to get these seedlings, toughen them up a bit so that they are good and sturdy, then let them sojourn in the chilly spring sunshine before planting out into the garden bed.
Just one more step in my plan to become a wildly efficient gardener this year.