August 24, 2017

When Irises Are Calling

• By Janine Pineo • There is something rather soothing in reading old pieces about gardening. No, not from 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Maybe something from the late 1800s. I stumbled across the … [Read more...]

Crooked Neck

  Cucurbita pepo encompasses many varieties, including pumpkins and winter squash, but it also has the whole range of summer squash as well. One of the better known varieties in the summer … [Read more...]

Sweet Pea

Tried and true is what keeps heirlooms popular. And few are as reliable as Mammoth Melting Sugar pea. This snow pea produces beautiful flowers that quickly turn into huge, flat, edible pods that are … [Read more...]

Bright and Spineless

A shock of color is par for the course for zinnias, and Zinnia elegans 'Cactus Bright Jewel Mix' is all that and then some. This annual is rather stately on sturdy stems that can reach 3 feet in … [Read more...]

Sowing Sunshine

Little is as rewarding as a sunflower, especially Helianthus annuus 'Mammoth Grey Stripe.' This heirloom can grow even in poor soil, although you will get the biggest plant and best flowers when … [Read more...]

Perfectly Peachy

The hint of blush on the fuzzy golden skin is enough to make anyone wonder what exactly Garden Peach is. Make no mistake, this heirloom beauty is none other than a tomato. The description on the Fedco … [Read more...]

Ring of Fire

Native to the United States is Gaillardia pulchella, a sprightly heirloom that has naturalized across dozens of states, including Maine. Also known as firewheel or Indian blanket, this member of the … [Read more...]

Warming the Cockles

Agrostemma githago is one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed, which might explain its existence around the world. The common corncockle is traced back to European wheat fields, and it is thought … [Read more...]

The New Black

It's a peony, it's a poppy, it's purple and it's black. Papaver paeoniflorum 'Black Peony' is also Papaver somniferum Paeoniflorum group, which really just boils down to a subtype of opium poppy with … [Read more...]

Bee Mine

Phacelia tanacetifolia has a most descriptive common name: bee's friend. This native of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico is now grown for many reasons, including as a cover crop and … [Read more...]