The cold weather has finally stunted the Violet de Provence artichokes.
It is not guaranteed that these plants will survive winter. They are French artichokes, so I think they tolerate cold better than the Italian varieties.
They did survive last winter so we shall see.
The foliage is such a wintery color.
So that is pretty much the only exciting thing going on in the garden now.
I have officially started reading The Whole Seed Catalog and compiling my “to grow” list for 2014. First, I make a list that is WAY too long, then I edit it.
Here are a few varieties that have piqued my interest so far. (Images and text from http://www.rareseeds.com):
New! Incandescent crimson foliage, angular and recurved, eventually morphing to a rich cocoa-brown. Compact at only about 20-30 inches tall. Fine for bedding or in the border.
Bush, 50-55 days. Superior producer of nice straight darkgreen pods for snaps. The slim 4-5-inch pods are stringless and the flavor is every bit as outstanding as the yield! This French variety makes a fine crop for market growers or home gardeners. Excellent tolerance to bean mosaic virus.
I’m drawn toward the French varieties Baker Creek offers because they always seem to do well in our garden. Otherwise, the Cantare beans are an uncharacteristically boring choice for me. Normally I prioritize weirdness or a unique history over practicality.
My husband has requested “normal vegetables” and “flowers” for the garden next year. And I’m up for trying a new approach. Especially because a lot of times when I try the weird varieties we don’t actually do much with them. The Serpente di Silia squash took over the whole teepee area and really the only thing we used them for is decoration. The quinoa, amaranth and sorghum took up a lot of space in other parts of the garden and we didn’t harvest any of it. They were ornamental, but I suppose actual flowers will be more so. And so long as they are edible flowers (a variety of sunflowers, nasturtiums, colorful amaranth, etc.) I’m on board. But I can’t resist a few weird things added to the mix…
In 1885, the French book, The Vegetable Garden stated this is one of the oldest varieties. Today some experts feel this may be the oldest beet still in existence, possibly dating back 1000 years. This unique variety is one of the most flavorful, with carrot-shaped roots that have rough, dark colored skin which looks like tree bark. Inside, the roots are very dark, with almost black flesh that is of superior quality and sought after by chefs who want real flavor. We are proud to offer this rare old selection.
Possibly dating back 1000 years? Sign me up!