What’s in my garden.

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone: 6b (but more accurately in a zone 5 microclimate)

Sunset Climate Zone: 1A

I live in the Central Oregon high desert, where the frost-free growing season miiiiight extend to 50 days, if I’m lucky! (Usually it’s more like 30 to 40 days.)

Most of my plants are started from seed. (I usually save my own seeds or buy from my favorite seed catalogs each year). I gravitate toward growing unusual plants and can’t resist “ugly” vegetables and odd-looking things with warts, scars, and cracks—what I see as interesting features but others may view as flaws.

I like growing vegetables that come in unconventional colors, especially purple (unless it’s eggplant—purple eggplant is boring 😁 and mine are always white, green, or striped). I love seeking out rare varieties and plants you’ve probably never heard of—and neither did I, until I started growing them.

I follow a few permaculture principles and teach lazy gardening techniques, so I grow lots of low-maintenance edible perennials and strive for a closed-loop, regenerative garden on our 1 ½ acres of land.

Some of the herbs and fruits below are not hardy to my climate, and that’s because they moved with me from Southern California and are now living happily inside our house or in the greenhouse.


Favorite plant 🌱


Purple tomatoes. I’ve grown dozens of varieties, but my all-time favorite (and the first one I ever grew) is Cherokee Purple.


Weirdest plant I’ve grown 🍃


Oyster leaf. The leaves of this perennial green tastes like fresh oysters and earthy seawater. (It’s better than it sounds.)

Check back here every season as I continually update this list!

Annual vegetables

Amaranth (Edible Red Leaf)

Arugula (Wasabi)

Asian Greens (Chijimisai)

Bok choy (Purple Lady)

Bok choy (Tatsoi)

Carrot (Longue Rouge Sang)

Carrot (Rainbow)

Chinese Cabbage (Late Nagasaki)

Collard (Georgia Southern)

Fava bean (Broad Windsor)

Garlic (Music)

Kale (Russian Red)

Kale (Thousand Head)

Kale (Vates Dwarf Blue)

Lettuce (Mesclun)

Mizuna (Beni Houshi)

Mizuna (Early)

Radish (Purple Plum)

Spinach (Winter Giant)

Sweet pepper (Carmen)

Sweet pepper (Golden Bell)

Sweet pepper (Orange Glaze)

Swiss chard (Biondi di Lyon)

Swiss chard (Fordhook Giant)

Tomato (Chocolate Cherry)

Tomato (Juliet)

Tomato (Lemon Boy)

Tomato (Moskvich)

Tomato (Siletz)

Tomato (Sun Gold)

Tomato (Sweet 100)

Tomato (Willamette)

Perennial vegetables

American groundnut

Asparagus (Purple Passion)

Asparagus (Jersey Giant)

Garlic (Oregon Blue)

Horseradish

Jerusalem artichoke (Dwarf Sunray)

Onion (Egyptian Walking)

Onion (Potato)

Oyster leaf (Silver Ocean)

Rhubarb

Rhubarb (Kangarhu)

Salad burnet

Sea kale

Sorrel (Bloody Dock)

Sorrel (Profusion)

Sorrel (True French)

Annual herbs

Basil (Lemon)

Basil (Thai)

Cilantro

Dill

Parsley

Perennial herbs

Anise hyssop

Basil (African Blue)

Chives (Common)

Chives (Garlic)

Chives (Profusion)

Coriander (Vietnamese)

Culantro

Lemon balm

Lemon savory

Lemongrass

Lovage

Marjoram

Mint (Banana)

Mint (Chocolate)

Mint (Mojito)

Mint (Moroccan)

Mint (Orange)

Mint (Peppermint)

Mint (Spanish)

Mint (Vietnamese)

Mitsuba (Purple)

Oregano (Golden)

Oregano (Zorba Red)

Rosemary (Arp)

Sage (Berggarten)

Sage (Tricolor)

Tarragon (French)

Thyme (Creeping)

Thyme (English)

Thyme (Zambesi Lemon)

Winter savory

Edible flowers

Agastache ‘Kudos Coral’

Bachelor button ‘Cyanus Double’

Bergamot

Bergamot ‘Blue Stocking’

Bergamot ‘Marshall’s Delight’

Bergamot ‘Red’

Chrysanthemum ‘Cheerleader’

Chrysanthemum ‘Clara Curtis’

Chrysanthemum ‘Fall Charm’

Chrysanthemum ‘Fine Feathers’

Chrysanthemum ‘Gilbert Becker’

Chrysanthemum ‘Little Red’

Chrysanthemum ‘Small Wonder’

Chrysanthemum ‘Volunteer’

Clove pink ‘Bumbleberry Pie’

Clove pink ‘Georgia Peach Pie’

Clove pink ‘Grenadin’

Clove pink ‘Sweet’

Echinacea ‘Big Kahuna’

Echinacea ‘Cantaloupe’

Echinacea ‘Prairie Splendor’

Echinacea ‘Rainbow Marcella’

Hollyhock ‘Halo Apricot’

Hollyhock ‘Halo Purple’

Nasturtium ‘Tall Trailing’

Violet ‘Corsica’

Violet ‘Eco Artist Palette’

Violet ‘Etain’

Violet ‘Molly Sanderson’

Violet ‘Northern Lights’

Fruits

Apple (multi-grafted Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, McIntosh)

Apple (Honeycrisp)

Apple (Queen Cox)

Asian pear (multi-grafted 20th Century/Nijisseiki, Chojuro, Hosui, Shinseiki)

Asian pear (20th Century/Nijisseiki)

Asian pear (Shinseiki)

Avocado (Fantastic)

Avocado (Poncho)

Banana (Apple)

Blueberry

Cantaloupe (Minnesota Midget)

Gooseberry (Hinnomaki Yellow)

Gooseberry (Jahn’s Prairie)

Honeyberry (Blue Forest)

Honeyberry (Blue Sea)

Honeyberry (Honeybee)

Honeyberry (Tana)

Lemon (Improved Meyer)

Lime (Bearss)

Lime (Thai)

Marionberry

Nectarine (Harko)

Orange (Calamondin)

Orange (Moro Blood)

Peach (Contender)

Peach (Polly)

Peach (Vivid)

Pear (multi-grafted Bartlett, Comice, Red Barlett)

Pear (Summercrisp)

Raspberry (Killarney)

Raspberry (Nova)

Raspberry (Jewel)

Shipova (Dwarf Baby)

Strawberry (Albion)

Strawberry (Charlotte)

Strawberry (Eversweet)

Strawberry (Seascape)