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  • Holiday Giving for Wildlife Gardeners December 17, 2014
    As we celebrate the holiday season with family and friends, put up our Christmas trees, bake delicious holiday goodies, and buy presents for our loved ones, I also like to give a little back to wildlife by working to create more wildlife habitats in our gardens and communities. There are many ways you can give a […] We love hearing from you! Please click her […]
    Carole Sevilla Brown
  • Is “Drink Your Tea” in Your Garden? December 16, 2014
    Male Towhee Look low and listen for the rustling of leaves! You will often wonder what animal might be coming your way, especially in the fall when fallen leaves blanket the ground. Be patient and you might see the beautifully marked Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) using its two-footed backward hop to turn over leaves to […] We love hearing from you […]
    Joni James
  • Snuffleupagus: In the Garden Stuck on You December 12, 2014
    The great reptile hunter was at it again.  I saw my dog Chili lying in the grass, alert and stretching out her paw like she was batting at something.  And, of course, she was.  Meet Timmy the turtle (named after a pull toy I owned as a toddler…ahhhh memories!). Timmy is actually a three striped […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the b […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Itzy and Bitzy…New Spiders for Me December 5, 2014
    The Groundsel Bushes (Baccharis spp.) a.k.a. Saltbush have been a-buzz.  By far the most visited of all shrubs in my Florida native plant garden this week.  Various wasps and ants and beetles have been mining the leaves for tasty morsels of the Groundselbush Beetle (Trirhabda bacharidis) larvae and/or aphids or scales. I was surprised that […] We love hearin […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • From the New York Botanical Garden December 4, 2014
    Recently I attended a symposium at the New York Botanical Garden called, The Changing Nature of Nature in Cities. I was especially curious to hear Emma Marris, author of The Rambunctious Garden speak, and I wasn’t disappointed. I promised last month to write about the symposium’s content. Honestly, I’m still digesting the message from the […] We love hearing […]
    Jesse Elwert
  • Virginia Pine December 2, 2014
    The holidays. They’re here. They’ve got me thinking of pine trees, and pinecones. And I’m wishing for snow. I’ve had a tiny bit of snow already, but I’m ready for more. This is Virginia pine, Pinus virginiana. I live in a cabin, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in central Virginia. There are plenty of Virginia pine up […] We love hearing from you! Please click h […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Thanksgiving December 1, 2014
    I hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend with their families. I found these photos in my archives and thought they would be perfect for the season.  I love to do “set-up” shots to highlight seasonal themes . . . colorful gourds being some of my favorite subjects.  My brother built an arbor this year […] We love hearing from you! Please click here […]
    Judy Burris
  • Saturday Night Live Musical Guest in the Garden November 28, 2014
    I eyed a beefy looking katydid the other day, lounging on the leaf of a Redbay sapling (Persea sp.).  It was munching away probably trying to gain some nourishment to build up its strength.  This guy…and yes, it is a male…appeared to have done battle with a predator at some point. Antennas were broken off […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to se […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Giving Thanks With Gratitude November 26, 2014
    Happy Thanksgiving! Now is one of the times of year that I like to reflect on those thinks for which I am so grateful. And one of those things is you, our dear readers. I and my team members both here at Team Beautiful Wildlife Garden, as well as Team Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens are […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beauti […]
    Carole Sevilla Brown

#GardenChat

My Garden Favorites: Heirloom Vegetables

How timely that the first of the 2010 garden catalogs appeared in the mailbox today. I’ve been busy choosing my favorite heirloom vegetable performers of the year and making final selections of varieties to grow next season. I hope to include a few heirloom flowers and ornamentals as well.

With July’s non-stop rain and August’s cooler than normal temperatures, these plants amazed me with their vigor. Late blight devastated tomato crops along the Northeast early this year, but the heirlooms in the garden remained untouched and the yields were tremendous. ( I thank God for that.) The peppers and beans were prolific in production and warm fall temperatures allowed a second harvest. Heirloom French winter squashes were the star performers of the garden this year… abundant and truly beautiful as well as delicious. They’ve earned a perennial spot in the line-up.

2009 Best Performers:

  • Trionfo Violetto pole bean
  • Chiogga beets
  • Dragon Tongue bean
  • Forellenschluss, Merlot, Lolla Rossa lettuces
  • Rhubarb Chard
  • Sunburst pattypan, Patissons Panache scalloped squash
  • Rosa Bianca eggplant
  • Rouge Vif d’Etampes pumpkin
  • Galeux D’Eysine winter squash
  • Corno di Toro pepper
  • Mammoth Red Rock cabbage
  • Cherokee Purple tomato
  • Brandywine Pink tomato
  • Amana Orange tomato
  • Golden Ball turnips
  • China Rose radishes
  • Jenny Lind melon
  • Amish Paste tomato
  • Hungarian pepper
  • Sweet Banana pepper
  • San Marzano paste tomato
  • Pepperoncini
  • Blue Podded Pea
  • Yellow Snow Pea

2010 vegetable garden:

  • Musquee de Provence squash
  • Jarrahadale Blue squash
  • Telegraph Improved cucumber
  • Prescott Fond Blanc melon
  • De Bourbonne cornichon (gherkin) cucumber
  • Navet Des Vertus Marteau turnip
  • Boothby’s Blonde cucumber
  • Moon and Stars watermelon
  • Ancho Gigantea pepper
  • Mini chocolate, yellow, red bell peppers
  • Feher Ozan  paprika pepper
  • Tequila Sunrise pepper
  • Chervena Chushka sweet pepper
  • Beaver Dam pepper
  • Waspsipinicon Peach tomato
  • Great White tomato
  • Vintage Wine Striped tomato
  • Black from Tula tomato
  • Silvery Fir Tree tomato (indoor growing now)
  • Manyel tomato
  • Black Cherry and White Currant cherry tomatoes
  • Rattlesnake pole beans
  • True Red Cranberry pole beans
  • Christmas Lima pole bean
  • Hutterite Soup bean
  • Black Valentine bush bean
  • Broad Windsor fava bean
  • Red Garnet amaranth

That’s it! I’m looking forward to having more beans in the garden as well as trying new pepper varieties. Naturally, grinding fresh paprika and red pepper is appealing and right at home in the herb garden. For now, though, back to the indoor garden where it’s time to pot up the eggplant and peppers.

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