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  • A Dozen Dragonflies May 29, 2015
    This time of year it is always a playground of critters at my place. Especially noticeable in recent weeks is the return of the numerous species of dragonflies that grace my place. Having a pond is key to encouraging reproducing Odonata. Don’t have room for a pond? As long as there is a similar water […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Bird Population Soaring May 22, 2015
    Spring 2015 is once again proving to be a banner year for bird broods in my beautiful wildlife garden.  Bluebird brood #2 has successfully hatched and 4 healthy mockingbird babies located in a holly shrub not 15 feet away joined them this past week.  It is dizzying watching the two sets of parents feed the […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to s […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Monarda Madness May 21, 2015
    The first Monarda blooms of 2015 opened up this week, kicking off a series of great blooms from now until late summer.  Every year I learn to appreciate this genus of native flowers so much more until I feel that I might just be on the edge of monarda madness because last year I actually […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the beautifu […]
    Ellen Honeycutt
  • Twinleaf May 19, 2015
      A very early wildflower, Twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla, is native to eastern North America. It is a plant that I must remind myself to hunt for, well before I’m used to finding wildflowers blooming. Here in the mountains of central Virginia, that crucial time is late March into early April. Each flower only lasts for a very […] We love hearing from you! P […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Trilliums April 21, 2015
    There is not much more thrilling than hiking through the woods and finding a patch of native wildflowers. Some are minuscule, not of bright color, others can knock your socks off. Trilliums fill the bill for knocking my socks off! In the picture above, you see White Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum, about to bloom in one of my gardens. I’ve […] We love hearin […]
    Brenda Clements Jones
  • Help for Hummers April 16, 2015
    Putting up a hummingbird feeder is a fun way to bring hummingbirds close to a viewing space like a window. Like other types of bird feeders, it is often the first step in developing a love of our feathered friends and a desire to nurture them. So once you’ve taken the first step, I’d encourage […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see all the be […]
    Ellen Honeycutt
  • Native Plant Appreciation Week, Osceola County Florida April 10, 2015
    Today’s article is going to be about promoting the use of native plants, mostly because I forgot that today was Friday and didn’t do any critter research. I’ve been busy promoting The Central Florida Native Plant Sale (3rd annual) which is today, April 10, 2015 from 4-7 p.m. and tomorrow from 8 a.m. – 1 […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Ladies of the Day April 3, 2015
    Notwithstanding their common name, I’ll start by clarifying that they aren’t all ladies.  After all, in North America the order odonata need male and female to reproduce. I’m not clear how these insects acquired their common name.  Damselflies are an interesting group of insects. Predatory in both larval and adult stages, these are insects you […] We love he […]
    Loret T. Setters
  • Skink Wars and More on These Sleek Lizards March 28, 2015
    I was on the patio late one afternoon and the trashcan was rocking.  I glanced over since you never know what creature of nature will be visiting my place.  I figured that maybe a black racer or water snake had slithered underneath the wheels setting the rocking in motion. Then I heard thrashing and a […] We love hearing from you! Please click here to see al […]
    Loret T. Setters

#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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