I'm daughter to Lissie, sister to Jess, wife to Brien, mom to Hannah, Lily and Eleanor. I am a stay at home mom to my girls, and my free time is dedicated to gardening (I confess I'm still a novice and look to Lissie and Jess for advice), baking and cooking, and card making. I'm doing my part to make the earth a bit greener, trying hard to avoid processed foods and HFCS, and find the "slow food" movement intriguing and inspiring. I love visits to my local farmers' market, fresh produce, reading, getting out in nature, and spending time with my family.


Catholic, homeschooler, lover of books and great wine and an amateur gardening addict.


I'm Melissa aka "Lissie", mother of Rachael and Jessica, and grandmother to a passel of the sweetest children on the planet. I'm a semi-retired public educator and professor who works from home for a small publisher. I am a lover of all things beautiful ... flowers, the mountains, nature scenes, the innocent faces of children, and my rock and fossil collection, to name a few. I enjoy shopping at the farmers' market for fresh foods and then experimenting with new recipes. Good food and good wine delight me. I love to travel so my suitcase is always packed. Like my daughters, I take pleasure in simple things ... clothes drying on the line, tomatoes so fresh they are still hot from the sun, good books, and interesting movies. I'd like to know everything before I die.
Seeds 2009

Are you ready for this? These are all the seeds I have plans to grow. Now, it seems like an incredible amount of plants but these seeds will take me from February through late Fall '09 with planting. And the herbs will all go in pots all over the place - the deck, the front walk of my house and the patio that we will be having poured this spring. My neighbor and I are splitting some of the seeds and I am sending even more seeds on to Liz to see how they fare in her garden in Virginia. Bob and I are building another long skinny bed that will just be for tomatoes and basil and two more in ground and mulched flower beds in the backyard. We are trying to make the backyard a pleasant place to sit, entertain, and for child's play so we are trying to carve out little "rooms" that will make the small area as efficient and pleasant as possible. I spent far too much money last year on annuals at the plant nursery so this year I chose direct seed, fast growing varieties and a few that will most likely self-seed for next year and the years to come: poppies, globe amaranth, sweet peas, bishop's lace, four 'clocks, hollyhocks, forget me nots, zinnias and sunflowers. And I am planning on trying the Indian companion planting of corn, squash and beans to get the most bang for the space.

I will note with a * if the seed is a repeat from last year.

Lettuces (split to be started in four cold frames in early March and then in early September):

De Morges Braun
Black Seeded Simpson
Henderson's Black Seeded Simpson
Amish Deer Tongue
Lollo Rossa
*Red Wing Lettuce Mix
Garden Cress
Mache- Verte D' Etampes


Giant Noble
Summer Perfection


*Rainbow (no success last year due to pests)
Flamingo Pink

Radish/Petite Dejuener

Asian Varieties:

Asian Winged Bean
Chinese Red Noodle Bean
Komatsuma Tendergreen
Ching Chang Bok Choy
*Siamese Dragon Stir Fry Mix
Chinese Chives Mix


*Genovese Basil
*Siam Queen Thai Basil
*Lime Basil
*Lemon Balm
German Chamomile
Bee Balm/Lemon
*Parsley/Giant of Italy (I grew this and flat leaf last year and both were excellent)
*Peppermint (still alive on my kitchen windowsill)
*Oregano/Wild Zaatar

-I am not growing feverfew again- wow that is a prolific (weed-like!) plant.

Melons and Squash (in ground in community garden):

Butternut Squash (maybe, I am the only one in my family who likes it)
Zucchini/Black Beauty (maybe)
Amish Pie Pumpkin
Green Fleshed Pineapple Melon (Ananas D'Amerique A Chair Verte)
Sugar Baby Watermelon (ice box sized)

Corn/Country Gentleman


Red Belgian
Patio Red Marconi
Thai Little Red Chili

Brussels Sprouts/Catskills (Fall planting)

Carrots/St. Valery (free pack of 800 seeds, probably try them in a deep container)

Cucumber/Early Russian and Early Fortune

Beans and Peas:

Asian beans listed above
Dragon Tongue
Sugar Snap Peas


White Tomesol
Amish Paste
Paul Robeson
*Green Zebra
Orange Fleshed Purple Smudge
Ananas Noire
White Currant
Sub-Arctic Plenty
Brandywine (maybe)
SuperBush (hybrid)
Italian Pompeii (hybrid)

And last but not least, the flower varieties:


Giants of California
Polar Bear
Green Envy

Bachelor Buttons/Red Boy


Oriental Scarlet

Sunflowers (we are dedicating a corner of the yard for a sunflower bed with zinnias in front):

Lemon Queen
Short Stuff
Mexican Sunflower- Torch

and various varieties of:

Red Angels Trumpet
four o' clocks
sweet peas



Rach said...

You've lost your ever-lovin' mind!!! Holy cow, Girlie, that's a crap-load of seeds/plants!!!

Jess said...

Yes, it is. I do think I've lost my mind!

Really, though, not everything germinates well, some things don't survive transplanting, some things just flop due to pests, bad weather, etc. It will still be a TON of work but I am looking forward to it. I will have to fly Liz out here to help me can, dry and preserve late this summer. :-)

Dani said...

Wow Jess, that is going to be really cool. How wonderful :)

allie said...

*Peppermint (still alive on my kitchen windowsill)

You can't keep a good mint down! :) You are indeed out of your mind which is why I love you. We'll see if my measley tomatoes and basil etc. will grow in my containers. I'll do the sun check this weekend. How sad is it that I have no idea how much sun my balcony gets? I'm never home!

Can't wait to see your plans in action!

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, Batgirl! That is some commitment. Maybe I can come back to Kansas and help you plant things.


Jess said...

Mom, I am going to need help with canning, not planting! Come back in late September, PLEASE.

Lee said...

Jess- I found your post from Rachel's blog. Your plans are so impressive. We're going to try square foot gardening this year ourselves. Are there things you wished you'd known ahead of time? Thanks.

Jess T said...

Holy crap, Jess!

I know you used to do a lot of pot planting, which is what I'll have to do this spring. Suggestions for good pot picks?

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