Perennial, biennial, annual. So many reasons to have them - Companion growers that protect, color in the garden, cutting flowers for your house and sanity, fragrance, pollinators that bring in bees and hummingbirds.
Here’s what we have.
Companion flowers for the garden
Calendula - Flashback mix (large, best in garden, gorgeous); Princess mix (great for boxes/containers and garden; bred for cut flower production); Playtime mix. They all grow well with tomatoes and most vegetables.
Marigold - Starfire signet. Heirloom. Plant them right in the garden beds with the tomatoes, peppers… anything. These grow in low-bushes so make sure you give them space. They smell AMAZING!
Nasturtium. Trailing (great for flower boxes!) and Empress of India. -
Note about the Trailing variety, I planted these at my cousin’s camp and they grew to 10 feet long! Cascading down to almost hitting the ground! Flowers are edible.
Ageratum. These were in containers and in the garden last year. https://www.johnnyseeds.com/flowers/ageratum/timeless-mix-ageratum-seed-3432.html
Baby’s breath. https://www.johnnyseeds.com/flowers/gypsophila-babys-breath/covent-garden-market-gypsophila-seed-1762.html
Bachelor button, tall. Mixed colors. Saved seed.
Cockscomb Tornado Red. Tall and beautiful for cutting and drying.
Coleus. Likes shade, great foliage for arrangements. This is a first for us, very excited.
Cosmos. We have purple (saved seed), bicolor violet, and seashell with mixed colors. They are so easy to grow and like being trimmed back.
Dianthus Chabaud Jeanne Dionis (heirloom, french, carnation). Dianthus have been cultivated since ancient Greece and Rome. These are old fashioned with strong fragrance, our first time trying them.
Dianthus - Sweet William. Biennial; same family as above. I’ve had these for about 5 years and they keep reseeding to come back.
Rudbeckia Cherokee Sunset Mix. These are the 2nd year for these - fabulous.
Zinnias! So easy to grow, so pretty, so much joy. When they are pinched back and deadheaded, they are sturdy and flower repeatedly. Benary’s Giant, Cactus Chrysanthemum Mix, Giant Diahlia,
Bee’s Friend. Lives up to its name! Likes to be planted in groups of 2-3. https://www.seedsavers.org/bees-friend-flower
Borage. I have literally walked out to find close to 30-40 bees on each borage plant - every day, all the time. The flowers and leaves are edible. I planted it once and it likes the spot, and reseeds every year on its own without being invasive (just thin the seedlings).
Columbine. Perennial, likes shade and wood line areas. Judi saved this seed.
Echinacea. Perennial. We have echinacea purpurea (classic purple) and are trying a mixed color Paradiso mix this year!
Love in a mist. I love these. Heirloom. The seed pods are just as pretty as the flowers.
Flower beds and boxes/containers
Kiss me over the garden gate. New for us this year
Night scented stock. These may look like small flowers during the day - but at night the flowers release an amazing fragrance. I am required to plant at least 20 of these at entryways, and we walk out at night just to smell them.
Snapdragons - tetra mix. 18-24” tall.
Sunflowers - mix of tall seeds, saved.
Kitchen, cottage garden, flowering amazingness.
Basil - Emily. Fab variety that needs to be pinched back for sturdy plants. Large leaves to make it easy to cook with (looking at you, pesto). https://www.rareseeds.com/basil-emily
Bee Balm. Perennial pollinator.
Catnip. I keep one plant at cat level and another above, and rotate them. Still think the cat only believes there is one very happy plant for him. It’s a mint so it could spread; I keep them in pots and under the lights all winter. Perennial.
Cilantro. Salsa and southwest cooking ingredient. You either love it or you don’t.
Dill. Tall, showy, and picky about who it’s planted with. I put it near cukes. “Dill is a poor companion plant for angelica, cabbage, caraway, chili and bell peppers, eggplant, fennel, lavender, and potatoes. It is also a particularly poor companion for carrots” (https://www.thespruce.com/herb-garden-design-mistakes-1762049)
Lavender - Munstead. Hardy English lavender, perennial. We’ve had great success with this in the last 10-15 years (as our USDA growing zone has shifted from Zone 3 thru to Zone 4a in the North Country since 1988). Likes sandy soil and gets larger every year. Pollinator. I dehydrate the stems/flowers. Limited availability.
Marjoram, sweet. Annual, similar to oregano but sweeter. I use it the same way when cooking.
Parsley - Giant of Italy. Flat parsley that has great culinary uses. Best we’ve used.
Sage - culinary broadleaf. Perennial, dries well for use all year.
Thyme. Perennial, classic kitchen herb.
Let's talk Tomatoes.
Tomatoes are either determinate (bush) or indeterminate (vine). Most of the varieties we offer are indeterminate. Indeterminate varieties will need support as they grow. The fruit will also come in as the plant grows unlike determinate when the fruit ripens at the same time. Most of the varieties we offer are indeterminate.
Size. We will offer cherry (less than 2oz fruit - one bite), salad (2-4 oz fruit - slice in half or quarters for salad), roma/canning (little juice and seed), and slicers (BIG 1 pounders!).
Some are seeds we have saved over the years, like Amish Roma, Blueberry, Suzanne, and Italian Heirloom. Where the seeds are also commercially available, links are provided for more information (growth, height, habits).
The varieties we have to offer (pending germination, but I think we'll be fine.) :
Cherry - typical red. Heirloom.
Blueberry - Heirloom. Yes, purple - turns purple-red when ready Limited supply. https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/tomatoes/wild-boar-farms/blue-berries-tomato
Chadwick Cherry - Heirloom. “Large vines set huge yields”
Sun Gold cherry - F1. Amazing sweet little gift from Mother Nature! Yellow fruit
Yellow pear cherry - Heirloom. New this year!
Suzanne -Heirloom. Red, sweet - my favorite! (besides blueberry). Limited supply.
Moskvich - Heirloom. Early, red.
Amish Roma - Heirloom. No juice, little seed content
San Marzano Paste - Heirloom. New this year. Limited supply.
Principe Borghese - Heirloom. Excellent for sun drying/dehydrating for easy storage all year!
Limited supply. https://www.rareseeds.com/principe-borghese-tomato
Italian Heirloom - beast of a tomato. Determinate. Serious 1 pound fruit! Even in the Adirondacks! Also great for canning! https://www.seedsavers.org/italian-heirloom-organic-tomato
We will also have :
Tomatillos - our famous salsa verde has this as the secret ingredient! Also great to eat all summer with roasted vegetables. https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/tomatillos/toma-verde-tomatillo-seed-791.html
Husk Cherries https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/husk-cherry/goldie-organic-husk-cherry-seed-773.html
Garden Huckleberry. New for us this year. Canning/freezing. Annual, “produces masses of fruit in a short season”.
**Our plants will be $2.50 this year, basil is $1. Please order early, ask questions, and be patient with us. All plants will be hardened off and ready to plant in the garden (if it ever stops snowing!!). Our garden starts are planted “in time” for Zone 4a, northern Adirondacks. **
Peppers! Salsa, pepper jelly, cooking, freezing, drying. Here’s what we will have available. Varieties are chosen by early harvest times (hello, Adirondacks…) and past success in our gardens. Peppers grow green and turn red as they ripen. You can eat/use them at any point of their growth.
Ace F1 Bell Pepper. “Extra early, highly productive”. Hybrid.
Bastan F1 Poblano pepper. These are yummy!
New Mexico Hatch Chile - "Big Jim" heirloom. With family in Taos, I’ve developed a mild addiction to Hatch chile. These grow well. I’ve made pepper jelly and dehydrated them for winter use, as well as grabbing some to go with dinner.
Jalafuego F1 Jalapeno pepper. Really productive. Big jalapeno! Makes great jelly and salsa.
Tam Jalapeno. Heirloom, lots of peppers. Great jelly and salsa.
Padron pepper. New for us.
We are offering three types of cukes this year - Marketmore (slice - typically what you see in the grocery store/farmers market), Lemon (high yielding, round, yellow), and Boston Pickling (short dual purpose variety).
Marketmore Cucumber: organic seed, 8-9” fruit. We have a large packet of seed and will be planting plenty! Dependable and tasty. https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/cucumbers/slicing-cucumbers/marketmore-76-cucumber-seed-336.html
Lemon Cucumber: organic seed. These are small, round, and great to eat. Slice and let them sit in a little cider vinegar and salt for snacking. Limited availability.
Boston Pickling Cucumber: crispy heirlooms that pickle well. Limited availability.