So, this past year’s garden was full of successes and failures. As my first year gardening in this space, I pretty much threw everything I had at the wall and watched to see what stuck. I was surprised at which varieties I liked and which ones I didn’t. Without further ado, here are my favorites and failures of the Garden 2020:
Trionfo Violetta (pole bean) This one was the only bean I grew (the only one I’ve ever grow, I believe). I was trying for something unique to add to my garden, and a purple bean fit the bill. First off, the foliage on these beans is amazing–dark purple heart-shaped leaves that turn to sage green as they age. Second, they are very tasty! I picked most of my crop while the beans were young and crisp, and it was pretty much like eating a snap pea. The plants germinated well, were very prolific, and were very easy to grow–I barely had to do anything to them. Highly recommended, especially for new gardeners.
Musquee de Provence Pumpkin This lovely curcurbita has gorgeous, lush foliage and looks like the perfect fairytale pumpkin. The pumpkin flesh is thick, with notes of cantaloupe. Better for sweet preparations than savory ones, imho. It can even be sliced thin and eaten raw. And they were really easy to grow! Highly recommended, if you have the room. The vines from the two plants I grew grow 20′, growing through and wrapping around my back fence. Also, I found that, even if the roots aren’t watered (we had a very hot, dry summer this past year, and some days I forgot to water), the vine puts out enough roots on its own that it gets all the water it needs anyway. Really low-maintenance.
My final favorite of 2020 were my lettuces. I grew a variety of types: Marvel of Four Seasons; mesclun mix; New Red Fire; and Winter Density. I liked all but the mesclun mix; I found I really detest bitter greens. The other three grew well, even in the heat of summer, and as long as I ate them in a reasonable time, they were fresh and sweet. (Note: the older lettuce gets, the more bitter it gets.)