Before the seed there comes the thought of bloom.
Well, my thoughts were all about blooms and tastes in the past couple days as I've ordered the seeds and plants for this year's garden. I can simply taste this, can't you?
From John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds:
Carmello Tomatoes: 70-75 days
A French hybrid, it is a main-season tomato that doesn’t travel well due to its thin skin. An in-demand variety throughout open-air markets all over France, its strong, indeterminate plants need staking to produce large crops of juicy, medium-large, 5 to 7 oz. tomatoes with outstanding sweet flavor. Plants are resistant to most diseases (VFN TMV)and although the skin is thin, the tomatoes are not prone to cracking. This is our favorite main-season tomato and we think it’s one of the best in the world. Carmello is perfect for a real tomato sandwich. With or without mayo or bacon, this is tomato heaven.
I was only going to buy the cherry tomato, Peacevine, until I read that description. Irresistible.
I did all my shopping in New England this year: High Mowing Seeds in Vermont, Johnny's Selected Seeds in Maine, John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds in Connecticut, and White Flower Farm in Connecticut. I bought shallot sets for the first time in ages because I want to make Tara's mashed potatoes much more often. I bought leek plants for the first time because we just haven't had great success starting them ourselves, and they take up a lot of room under the lights. We had such great results from the onion plants last year that we thought it was worth it to give leeks a try too.
I am trying a new yellow bean called Gold Rush:
Very early, strongly determinate bean with one main, heavy pick. Pods hang in clusters around the main stem, making them easy to pick. Golden-yellow pods with green tips are round, straight, and tender. Fine flavor and ability to remain in prime condition on the plant over a long period of time. Excellent freezer.
and some King of the North peppers that the catalogue says will actually turn red where we live:
Red Bell Very bushy high yielding plants can produce 14-20 large, blocky fruits apiece. Harvest green, or wait until they turn a bright red. The best open-pollinated sweet bell for shorter seasons. 57 days green, 68 days red
You may have heard my lament that I never have enough zucchini. Carol at May Dreams Gardens said maybe it is a pollination problem so I'm trying this variety:
Partenon F1 Summer Squash
Zucchini Parthenocarpic variety that produces fruit without pollination. In effect no seeds are produced, greatly elongating the harvest window. High quality fruits are prolific and tender. 48 days
as well as the beautiful Zephyr again.
Precocious, yellow, green-tip straightneck.
A distinctive, slender fruit, yellow with faint white stripes and light green blossom ends. Harvest young at 4-6" for unusually delicious nutty taste and firm texture. Unique appearance for easy recognition. Big, open plant, high yielding.
And I got four packets of these peas, with high hopes of doing succession plantings to extend the season's eating of fresh peas.
Green Arrow Shell Peas
A classic main crop garden pea bearing heavy yields of 4-5” slim, pointed, doubly-born pods with 8-11 small, deep-green peas. Delicious pea flavor, excellent for freezing.
And for corn, I'm trying this one from John Scheepers:
Honey Select Yellow Sweet Corn: 79 days
Indian corn, the predecessor and genetic relative of modern sweet corn, was a staple food of the Aztecs and Incas. Many years of hybridization has resulted in the tender sweet varieties that we enjoy today. If you prefer yellow corn, with super-sweet flavor, Honey Select beats them all. It was the hands-down winner at the trial grounds last year. With butter dripping onto our chins, we exclaimed loudly that we’d never eaten better yellow sweet corn! Honey Select produces uniformly slender 8” cobs, 2” in diameter.
The White Flower Farm order is for a new garden I want to have across our road on the big south lawn. I want to get benches and chairs to put around our outdoor fireplace, and have flowers everywhere in sight. Isn't that a nice dream?! We'll see what the reality is, but I bought some hardy plants that have already proven their success here, like the tree rose, which I just found out is a William Baffin, another Baptisia Australis or False Indigo, some lemon day lilies, an Aquilegia mix, some white Iris, and a Sedum called Xenox. I haven't quite figured out how I want to arrange them all, but it will keep my gardening heart happy planning it out during the next two or three months of waiting.