Summer Heirloom Offerings for Your Garden
Courtesy of Renee’s Garden
‘Grandma’s Johnny Jump Ups’ Edible Flowers
Often used in folk remedies for soothing both literal and emotional afflictions of the heart, these delicate, little flowers in the pansy family are also called ‘Heart’s Ease.’ Their blooms display colors of deep-violet, mauve, yellow, and white. The edible blossoms of ‘Grandma’s Johnny Jump Ups’ offer a mild, wintergreen flavor, making them a smash for tasty garnishes, cake decorations, or candying. Plant these flowers in pots, use them as lovely floral edging for your walkways, or create luscious spring bulb beds that’ll brighten your summer heart as sweetly as your Grandma would. These sweethearts are both weather-tolerant and long-blooming, and will easily self-sow to jump up for you next summer!
$2.99 per packet (1350 seeds)
‘Yamato Cream’ Watermelon
By the 1950s, Takeshi Kanda, a Japanese pioneer in watermelon breeding, had birthed this buttercream-colored fruit for its mild, pear-like juice. Kanda’s classic is still a hit today, notably winning the 2018 taste test trials at the National Heirloom Exposition. Nothing says summer quite like watermelon juice running down your chin. And for any juicing and smoothie aficionados, this funky fruit will help to create new flavor blends. The ‘Yamato Cream’ matures fairly early, rounding out at 6 to 10 pounds, but it doesn’t ship well because it cracks easily. This wondrous melon is a perfect choice for home gardeners and small-scale farmers alike. Slice up some samples, and you’ll be sure to win over the crowd at your local farmers market.
Courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
$3.00 (10 seeds)
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Queen Series’ Heirloom Zinnias
The double flowers of the exuberant new ‘Queen Series’ zinnias boast lime accents and contrasting eyes. They come in Queen Blush Lime (blossoms fan out from a blush-colored pink center to lime-green petal fringes), Queen Orange Lime (petals fade from a dark, peachy apricot outer-edge to lime and magenta centers), Queen Lime, and Queen Red Lime. These old-fashioned, bee-friendly annuals are easy to grow and flower throughout the summer, reaching a final height of 3 feet. Add these stunning blooms to your summer bouquets and glamorize your garden beds; you’ll surely be the talk of the town.
Queen Blush Lime
Courtesy of Kitchen Garden Seeds
$4.25 (50 seeds)
Kitchen Garden Seeds
‘Lace Perfume’ Fragrant Dianthus
Tender and airy ‘Lace Perfume’ edible dianthus entices with its spicy and sweet clove-like fragrance, seducing the senses of sight and smell, and taste. The sturdy branching plants grow 12 to 18 inches tall, with flowers in rose, lilac, soft-pink, and white, blending with subtle bicolors. When cut for bouquets, the lacy blossoms of these fragrant flowers practically self-arrange with their feathery, light petals, seeming to hover above the vase.
Courtesy of Renee’s Garden
$3.19 per packet (125 seeds)
Mini Bell Pepper Mix
A surge of urban gardeners will be grateful for the recent strides in breeding compact crops that’ll tolerate container gardening. This colorful mix of 2-inch, mini bell peppers is an old Ohio family heirloom, and one such example. This trio of mini red, yellow, and chocolate bell peppers was introduced to the Seed Savers Exchange by member Lucina Cress, who was gifted seeds from an elderly neighbor woman. When the peppers popped, a surprising new cultivar had arrived on the scene. With a stroke of luck, these mini bell peppers went on to become locally famous when hundreds of pickled peppers sold at her local church bazaar each year. Pickle, stuff, or snack on these patio-garden favorites.
Courtesy of Baker Creek
$3.00 per packet (25 seeds)
How to Make Hard Apple Cider
Brewing hard cider from nonalcoholic, or “sweet” cider, is a simple process, and the inebriating end product is as delicious as it is intoxicating. Here are the steps you’ll follow to make hard cider of your own.
Successfully Cure Potatoes and Squash
Cure and store fall potatoes and squash for a healthy harvest that’ll last well into winter.
Navajo Wild Plants
In American Southwest Indian traditions, like for the Navajo and Hopi tribes, wild plants from the region served a variety of purposes and were of great importance.