Its tender leaves yield it vulnerable to the slugs that hunt in the thick forest its leaves create, yet it is mild and easy to harvest with sharp shears.
But when arugula springs up on its own, somewhere separate from other plants, somewhere with sun all to itself and where the wind can catch each frill on each leaf, it grows completely differently.
The leaves are wildly irregular and wildly beautiful. They are veined with burgundy and speckled with silvery hairs. Wiry and tough, the plants hold up better to garden marauders. I'm less likely to toss them in my salad. I'm more likely to stop and admire them.
If you'd like to see what others across the world are harvesting this week, visit Daphne's Dandelions to see the roundup for Harvest Monday.