- Sheet composting in the vegetable garden. Where does mulching end and sheet composting begin? I’m not sure, but possibly when you begin layering mulches, as I’m doing, with alpaca bedding next to the earth and ground-up leaves over it. I’m not to the Ruth Stout point of knee-high mulch madness. But this deeper mulching is certainly working for me–keeping down the weeds, keeping the soil moist, promoting explosive plant growth. It’s allowing me to have a BIG vegetable garden at a weekend house.
- True red cranberry bean. A strange bullet-shaped heirloom shell bean with a beautiful, shiny deep red skin. So delicious, it turned my chili into a work of genius.
- Jarrahdale pumpkin. A beautiful blue-grey pumpkin with insides that bake up dense and creamy, not stringy and watery, the bane of pumpkin pies. Thanks to Jarrahdale, I’m getting "best pie I’ve ever eaten" reviews.
- Variegated Solomon’s seal. This not-uncommon perennial, which theoretically craves moisture, was a complete star in the droughty summer of 2007, just getting bigger, lusher, and more beautiful, and saying to the world, "Drought, what drought?"
- Callas sunk into my little fish pond. See photo.
- What the color scheme for my back beds really should be. The bearded irises and Endless Summer hydrangeas are doing so well, I need to bring back the blue I’ve been banishing and get rid of all the pink flowers I don’t much like anyway. Blue, maroon, and yellow. Now that’s a color combination!
- Blind date with my Garden Rant partners in Buffalo. Of course I was going to like them. But I had no idea they’d be quite as lovely as they are.