Over the years, I've learned one thing, I love my seed company. I purchase seeds through Baker Creek Seeds. From their website they say, "Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company's 2009 catalog offers 1275 unique heirloom varieties. We only offer open-pollinated seeds: pure, natural and non-GMO! [Genetically Modified] We offer heirloom seeds from 70 countries, including many that we collected ourselves. Started in 1998 by Jere Gettle, as a means to preserve rare seeds. We are located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri."
On January 31, 2009 I ordered (Eeek! With much excitement!!!)
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.
- Old Homestead (Kentucky Wonder Pole)-- Green beans that you'll see below
- Danvers 126 Half Long-- Carrots
- Pink Surprise-- Pink flowers for the butterfly garden
- Evening Sun-- Brownish/burgundy sunflowers for the butterfly garden
- Genovese Basil-- To companion plant with tomatoes
- Bee Balm - Lemon-- for the butterfly garden and the herb garden
- Chives - Common-- for the butterfly garden and the herb garden
- Parsley Brayour-- for the butterfly garden as a host plant and in the herb garden as an edible
- Collards - Georgia Southern (Creole)-- for Spike, our green iguana
- Arkansas Traveler-- A nice, round pink tomato
- Royal Chico-- A paste tomato
When they are big enough, my kitchen table becomes a potting table and I transfer all of the plants into these tall plastic cups. I label the outside with Sharpie so we have no surprises of what it is when vegetables develop. And no, I don't punch a hole at the bottom of the cup. By having the plants in these cups, I can see root development and how much water they need.
The flowers I tend to leave in the flats. These are Soapwort and Flax.
This used to be our compost pile. Being a compost pile has its advantages and disadvantages. First, the soil is so much better now after 5 years. The disadvantage? You get a lot of volunteers. (You'll see those later.) The green box? That would be the leftover flower box from my friends house. It used to have her address on it. It's now a lettuce box. We still had the materials for the fencing from when we did a garden plot here once before, so we didn't have to do anything with that. We put some single pickets around the side to keep the soil from washing out of the garden plot. (By the way, the funky red fence is not ours and we cannot paint it. Believe me, I wish that we could.)
Look! Things were growing!
This was one of the tomato plants. I can't recall which one.
The Arkansas Traveler. A nice, round pink tomato.
I decided to do Kentucky Wonder beans instead of bush beans. I really didn't have the space for the bushes. I took an extra large tomato cage, did a bit of zig zagging with some twine, cable tied the tines together and voila! I had my own bean growing trellis. Might I add that it worked very well! I'll be doing it again this year.
Speaking of beans, aren't they beautiful? I also planted them along the back section of garden fence. Gosh how I love green beans!
My baby collards. These were for Spike our green iguana. The kids love to pick tomatoes and collards for him. He loves them for it. In fact, when he is outside, he almost begs like a dog for his treats. It's kind of funny!
See! There he is! He's sunning himself. He's a big boy.
Remember how I told you about volunteers? Um, yes. These would be a ton of them. Next year I'm just going to have to do the Dr. Kervorkian and take 'em out. Live and learn.
Here's another regular delight we find in our gardens. We get some pretty healthy yellow garden spiders. Don't worry. They don't want you. They don't want me. They don't want K-. They just want the bugs that my garden has to offer. Since we grow organic, there are many bugs. Just ask all of the Japanese beetles that feel the need to come live here. They de-foliated my purple plum tree in the front yard and love to eat the living daylights out of my Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate. Yep. Nothing goes hungry out in our gardens. The neighbors pond hatched little frogs that moved into our yard. We would go organic anyhow, but we have a butterfly garden in the back and if we used any chemicals, we risk killing the very butterflies that we are trying to attract.
Here is my herb garden. When we moved in, no flower beds were here at all. The limestone went right up to the house. I think that it is much prettier and much more useful now. I have lavender planted under the windows, chives, onions, sage, a few different types of thyme, dill, chamomile, oregano, pineapple sage, and parsley but the butterflies always get to it first and lay their eggs, so we often don't get to eat it as we are trying to let butterflies do their thing instead. We do spread a net overtop to keep the developing catepillars safe.
Happy gardening! It'll be here before we know it! I can't wait!
Edited to add: Look what came in todays mail! Hooray!