So, these are the things that I am most eager to observe and experience this year.
Brussels sprouts - I think I started these way too early, so will need a second planting....but having been introduced to these by our daughter (who loves them), Sue and I now crave them as much as any veggie - and this is my first attempt at growing them in the garden. I will experiment with different locations in the garden, and timings of set out - but the thought of harvesting fresh sprouts just after an autumn frost is exciting indeed!
Oleander - I've collected dried seed pods from Sunset Beach and Ocracoke....the Sunset Beach seeds germinated well last year, and I have six healthy plants, approaching 3 feet tall, in 2 gallon pots that wintered through fine in my garage. I can't wait to see them bloom - and have enough to try in different areas of our yard to test ability to winter over. I think that these came from plants with deep red flowers that grew in our friend Margie's beach house yard. Whether they keep that color - or were hybrid, or crossed with other varieties - will be interesting to see.
Annual flowers - I planted and have up and happy a selection of sweet peas, Dahlias, Zinnias, Pansies and Snapdragons, none of which I've grown before. Can't wait to see how they do, and the different colors to spread around the yard!
Of course, I always vary our tomato plantings, and this year am returning to the original cross from which Lucky Cross and Little Lucky were selected, to see what else I can find in the mix. And there will be more work advancing some of the new Dwarf varieties.
For the experimental hot peppers, I am going to focus on two general types - one I named Bouquet, but is still highly variable, and one that looks like the variety Black Pearl - and, again, is still quite unpredictable.
For sweet peppers, I will continue on with the stabilization of five new named varieties from the hybrid Islander.
That will keep me busy and motivated...and, by the end of the summer, happily exhausted!