I always have a few projects taking place in my pepper plantings. Because of the need of this year's garden to focus on tomatoes (due to book photography), I've actually planted less peppers than usual....but all of my projects are represented. My work creating stable new varieties from the hybrid Blue Jay (aka Islander) continues, represented with new named bell shaped varieties White Gold (which ripens cream to yellow), Royal Purple (chartreuse to dark purple to red), Amethyst (cream to lavender to red - like the hybrid itself), Fire Opal (cream to lavender to yellow), and Candy Corn (cream to orange red). I also continue to work on a good stable non-hybrid version of a Stokes hybrid Chocolate Bell.
I love the longer shaped sweet peppers, the Italian types, such as Cubanelle, Corno di Toro and Marconi (the latter two come in both red and yellow when ripe versions, starting off as green). Turning to hot peppers, work continues on separating a mix of new colored Anaheim types that a friend sent me (they originally came from the Chile Pepper Institute), Eclipse, Sunrise and Sunset. I always include a few of my favorite colorful hot types, such as Pretty Purple, Vietnamese Multicolor, Fish and my own creations, Lollipops and Gemstone.
Finally, the small pot ornamental hot pepper work is represented this year, but at a far lower level than last year. I am working on two distinct types - the taller, dark foliaged, round fruited cluster type that goes from black purple to dark red (Black Pearl family and its variations), and the line that Gemstone was selected from, which are smaller, bushier plants that can have green through dark purple foliage and peppers of all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes. This year I am trying to nail down one I wish to call Bouquet - green foliaged, pale lavender blossoms, and slender purple peppers that ripen through to orange, then finally red. The bees certainly help me in this ornamental pepper project, as they've done the pollen mixing that led to so many variations.