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Edible or Ornamental +free seeds

January 24th, 2011

Last fall I won a photo contest over at Renee’s Garden and they sent me a gift certificate *awesome*. What’s better than winning a gift certificate to a fabulous seed catalog? (I decide to share my winnings, see below for your chance to win some free Renee’s Garden seeds)

I was looking through the on-line catalog trying to decide what I wanted to order and I noticed that I’m definitely drawn to edible things, mostly vegetables and herbs. I have a few annual plants I start, mostly alyssum and zinnias, but I’m definitely a perennial gardener when it comes to blooming plants (or things that self-seed readily without my help).

I’ll definitely be ordering ‘Catalina’ spinach as it has done beautifully in my garden, the ‘Italian Aromatic’ sage was fab in my Thanksgiving meal, and I’m really loving my pot of ‘Amsterdam’ seasoning celery for winter soups and stews. I was also very happy with the ‘Romanesco’ zucchini, isn’t it a beauty?

So far on my list of seed to order I have:
‘All-Season’ broccoli
‘Endeavor’ kirby pickle
‘Trieste’ bulbing fennel
‘Crispy Winter Salad’ greens
‘Summer Bouquet’ lettuce trio
‘Ruby and Emerald’ container lettuce
‘Merveille De Quatre Saisons’ heirloom lettuce
‘Jewel Tones’ peppers
‘Delicious Duo’ scallions
‘Summer Perfection’ spinach
and one of the shaker cans of California Poppies to try on my back hillside, which is plagued with terribly dry lean soil. I think I’ll buy a few flowering seeds, maybe the 3 different kinds of allysum they have and some nasturtiums (also edible) and those window box sweet peas are adorable, perhaps I’ll get those to dress up my garage window!

Of course I didn’t want to keep all these lovely seeds to myself, so I’ll be giving three packs of Renee’s Garden seeds of your choice to one lucky reader. For your chance to win, head over to Renee’s Garden and choose 3 varieties of vegetables, flowers or herbs that you’d like to grow and list them in the comments below. If you win I’ll order your choice of seeds along with my order, I’ll choose a winner on Friday. We have a WINNER!
Congratulations! Head on over to Morgan’s blog Grounded and read about things like: making your own seed balls, how to build a worm bin and what life is like in Southern California.

What do you grow most of, ornamental or edible?

For anyone interested Renee’s Garden if offering 10% off your entire order until Jan 31, 2011 with code: EARLYBIRD

86 Comments to “Edible or Ornamental +free seeds”
  1. leanne on January 25, 2011 at 1:11 am

    i am a no-lawner (the only one around) and have a mix of drought resistant perennials and fruit trees in the front, and an edibles garden in the back. i think veggies are just as pretty as flowers though!

    i can’t get enough tomatoes in the summer and i had a great yellow pear two years ago that i couldn’t replicate last year. so my first choice would be the “red and yellow mini pear” tomatoes that i can just grab and slice onto an english muffin and toast with a slice of cheese and some basil….oh now i’m drooling!
    second would be the fiesta duo tomatilloes because i grew a stunning tomatillo last year that blossomed and then refused to set fruit. i will get tomatillos! mark my word! ;)
    and finally, you’ve piqued my interest in the amsterdam seasoning celery… garden celery is amazing and this variety intrigues me!
    thanks so much for your great blog! no matter how busy i am i always stop by to read every day. :)

    to leanne's comment

  2. Loree on January 25, 2011 at 1:21 am

    How nice of you to give seeds away!

    I purchase Renee’s seeds every year and have since they were Shepherd’s Seeds — they are great seeds, always germinated & I love the choices.

    No need to enter me, I have my seeds for the year already, just wanted to say thanks & comment how I love Renee’s seeds :)

    to Loree's comment

  3. MAYBELLINE on January 25, 2011 at 3:02 am

    Hope you consider entering the Pioneer Woman photo competition.
    Give it a shot.

    to MAYBELLINE's comment

  4. Emily Jenkins on January 25, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Like some of the other folks who have commented, I have sent in most of my seed orders for this year already. I’m focusing on planting only open-pollinated heirlooms from this point on in my garden, so that limited my choices a bit. Something I can always use more of are radishes though, since I plan to let them go to seed to ward off cucumber beetles in my garden. One other thing that I can never have to much of is cutting greens, especially the spicy mesclun style. A final choice for me is something I’ve never grown before, the heirloom round zucchini, which I’ve heard some really great things about.

    So I’d have to say my three choices are:
    Radishes, “Pink Punch”
    Lettuce, “Monet’s Garden Mesclun”
    Squash, Zucchini ,”Ronde de Nice”

    Thanks for offering yet another wonderful opportunity for gardening readers. Now that I’m looking at Renee’s web site I might just be in trouble. I keep seeing other things that catch my eye, and I’ve expanded my beds to more than twice what they were last year… Hmm….

    to Emily Jenkins's comment

  5. Karen on January 25, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Renee’s website is very nice. First time I went on it. Thanks for a chance to win free seeds. My choices are Arugula, Swiss Chard and Rosemary.
    Thanks for your generosity.

    to Karen's comment

  6. Laura Z on January 25, 2011 at 11:20 am

    How generous! My picks would be:

    Bean, Pole, Spanish, “Musica”
    Tomatillos, “Fiesta Duo”
    Watermelon, Icebox, “Rainbow Sherbet”

    I love how Renee’s has assortments of seeds within a single packet!

    to Laura Z's comment

  7. Hailey on January 25, 2011 at 11:50 am

    What a cute website! I’d love the Feverfew, Calendula, and the “Dancing Petticoats” Cosmos. My wee little fingers are crossed.

    to Hailey's comment

  8. Bonnie on January 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I don’t have big plans for my small garden this year as I’ll have a new baby to devote most of my attention to, but I plan to plant some of my staples and could use some fresh seeds:

    1. Tomato, Plum, Italian Pompeii (These are my DH’s favorite tomato to slice and eat plus I just got a Victorio strainer off Craigslist and look forward to making sauce for the first time!)

    2. Cucumber, English, Chelsea Prize (English cucumbers are our favorite but i’ve never grown them!)

    3. Pepper, Mimi Salad, baby Belle (I have been looking for seeds for these for several years. How exciting to finally find them! Although peppers didn’t do well for me the past two year, I’d like to try again – starting earlier and moving their location.)

    Thank you for hosting such a fun give-away!

    to Bonnie's comment

  9. Nancy from Mass on January 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    so many seeds to choose from! I choose Chamomile (because who doesn’t love a cup of chamomile tea!), Sage (mmm) and Baby Persian Green Fingers cukes (another mmmm).

    Thanks for the opportunity and now I really can’t wait for the snow to stop so I can start tilling the garden.

    I do have some flowers but they are mostly perennials. I mainly grow to eat.

    to Nancy from Mass's comment

  10. Heather on January 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    How generous of you to share! BTW, I’d love to see the photo that won! I like to grow just about anything but tend towards perennials, herbs and veggies. If I won these seeds I think I’d pick the following:
    Alyssum, “Summer Peaches”
    Scabiosa, “Grandmother’s Pincushion”
    Borage, Blue
    By the way, I’d love if you have tips on germinating Nasturtium when you do so because I’ve tried several techniques and never had success! I do love them so!

    to Heather's comment

  11. AGinPA on January 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    The cucumbers I’ve had the most success with year after year come from Renee’s Garden. Thanks for reminding me I need some more for this season! I’d love to try some of their other seeds as well:

    Fennel “Trieste”
    Cucumber “Garden Oasis” (Good yields, sweet taste without bitterness)
    Cilantro “Slow bolt” (Last year my cilantro bolted so fast I never got to use any of it.)

    to AGinPA's comment

  12. Nellie on January 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for posting this, Susy! Hope the winner loves their seeds and has fun planting them.

    to Nellie's comment

  13. Kathi on January 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you for hosting this cute contest! I love reading what other gardeners’ plans are for the summer. With my gardens currently under feet of snow (CT), it’s hard to imagine spring will ever be here again. I haven’t ordered any seeds yet.
    I would love to try Renee’s Garden Carrot Tricolor “Circus Circus”.Mild Mustard Mix, and Cucumber Japenese “TastyGreen”

    to Kathi's comment

  14. Peggy on January 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    SUNFLOWER Sunzilla
    Morning Glory, “Scarlett O’Hara”
    Perfume Delight Sweet Peas
    Thanks so much!

    to Peggy's comment

  15. Seren Dippity on January 25, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Tomato, Plum, “Italian Pompeii”
    Peppers, Mild Habanero, “Suave”
    Squash, Summer Heirloom, Climbing, “Trombetta”

    Are three from Renee’s I’d love to try. I am looking for a good paste tomato. I wasn’t so thrilled with my San Marzanos last year. I like the idea of a mild habanero, I can’t do much in the way of spicy but I want to. And the climbing summer squash would be a great space saver for me and I’m intrigued by the description of the flavor.
    I love their packaging!
    I bought several packs of flower seeds from them last year.

    to Seren Dippity's comment

  16. Jenny on January 26, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I’ve not ordered from Renee’s before. There packages are beautiful!

    I’d choose:

    Monet’s Garden Mesclun
    Corno di Toro Mix Peppers
    Slow-Bolt Cilantro (because mine always does bolt and it makes me crazy!)

    to Jenny's comment

  17. Ash on January 26, 2011 at 12:42 am

    Thanks for being so generous! I’m a big fan of perennials for non-edible plants just because it’s less maintenance and I focus a lot on coneflowers and shasta daisies and other prairie types. My seed choices would be the sweetie baby romaine lettuce, the catalina spinach and the lacinato kale. I’m a sucker for my greens! Thanks for the opportunity!

    to Ash's comment

  18. Karen in OH on January 26, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I grow mostly edibles up here in Cleveland.
    I like:
    Super bush Tomato
    Lettuce, Container, “Ruby & Emerald Duet”
    Arugula, “Runway”

    Glad you have the chance to share some seeds with your readers. Love your photos.
    Karen in OH

    to Karen in OH's comment

  19. Rayna on January 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I started a few from seed last year, but they didn’t do so well. I need a better lighting setup and I really should get started on that! Thanks for reminding me:)

    to Rayna's comment

  20. Emily on January 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I’m still a very novice gardener, who managed not to kill some lavender and tomato plants this past year. Being said, that seed catalog it tempting! I think I would like to try my hand at:
    Carrots, Tricolor “Circus Circus”
    Cucumber, Baby Persian “Green Fingers”
    Lettuce “Farmer’s Market”

    Hope I’m up to the task.
    Thank you!

    to Emily's comment

  21. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Grit Magazine and Susy Morris, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Edible or Ornamental +free seeds #seedcompany #seedsowing #freeseeds #reneesgarden […]

    to Tweets that mention Edible or Ornamental +free seeds | Chiot’s Run —'s comment

  22. Michelle Leigh on January 26, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Yay seed giveaway! I’m in an herb mood this year. I already have all the vegetable seeds I could need! So my choices would be:

    Catmint, “Landscaping Ornamental”
    Chamomile, “Bodegold”
    Hibiscus, Herbal Tea “Zinger ”

    Thanks so much! I love your blog, and it keeps me excited about gardening!

    to Michelle Leigh's comment

  23. Nina on January 26, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    What a beautiful catalog!

    I mostly grow food. I haven’t had a lot of success starting from seed in the past….

    I’d like to try:
    1.Neon Glow Mixed Chard
    2.Baby Ball Beets
    3.Holiday Mix Pumpkins

    Thanks for this link and chance to get these seeds! Love love love

    to Nina's comment

  24. Basira Nicklle on January 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    What a great offer. Thanks so much,And thanks for the reminder about Renee’s. When Shepard’s was in California I used to buy from them all the time. they moved and I moved and just lost track of them. I, like many other commentators, have ordered all my seeds But I am a seed junkie and always have room for a few more. I am changing to almost all heirloom varieties this year
    The Renee’e seeds I’d love to win are
    1. Tomato Heirloom Summer Treats mix
    2. Baby Pixie Cabbage
    3. Nigella “Purple Violet” because I just learned the seeds are edible and are called Black Cumin and are good in curry.
    I enjoy your blog which I found on Cappers Farm magazine.

    to Basira Nicklle's comment

  25. alke on January 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Thank you for the detailed blogs!

    I would go with your choices:
    Catlina spinach
    all season broccoli (sounds heavenly!)
    and I would like to try:
    ‘Merveille De Quatre Saisons’ heirloom lettuce

    to alke's comment

  26. Kendi on January 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I love Renee’s seeds, and I love your blog! I actually just ordered some celery from Baker Creek that you left a review for simply because I knew I would be getting an amazing seed if you recommended it.

    I would like to add these to my 2011 garden!

    Alyssum, “Summer Romance”
    Lavender, “White Ice”
    Beans, Pole, Filet, “French Gold”

    to Kendi's comment

  27. Allison on January 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    I would love some more seeds! One can never have enough:)

    to Allison's comment

  28. Barbara on January 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Wow – thank you for the generous offer! I’ve chosen three round veggies – zucchini “Ronde de Nice”, beet “Baby Ball”, and Carrot “Round Romeo”. I think the beets and carrots will each look pretty pickled, and my friend grew the zucchini last year so I know it is delicious, especially stuffed.

    to Barbara's comment

  29. Sarah Jane on January 26, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    I love your blog!

    hoping to get Runner Beans, “magic beanstalk”,
    Cypress Vine, “Maiden’s Feather”
    and Beans, Pole, “Rattlesnake & Purple”

    to Sarah Jane's comment

  30. Sarah on January 26, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    What a generous offer :)
    I’ll be moving to a new, unfamiliar place (unknown so far) sometime this year, so taking seeds with me to sow would make my new home feel homey.

    In light of that, I’d have to go with the 3 sisters: corn, beans, and squash :) What better way to feel connected to new land?

    (I looked it up, and they have a ‘bonus pack’ that’s cheaper than the 3 separate!)

    to Sarah's comment

    • Sarah on January 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm

      Also, that website is dangerous.

      to Sarah's comment

  31. Donna B on January 27, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Careful of those poppies. Here in Southern California they can be VERY invasive. Where ever the wind blows so do the seeds. Thanks for the opportunity to receive seeds.

    to Donna B's comment

  32. Evonne on January 27, 2011 at 7:46 am

    I’m in love with herbs and am hoping to expand my herb garden…I would love to try the Garlic Chives, Bodegold Chamomile, and the Italian Aromatic Sage. Thanks for pointing out this awesome website.

    to Evonne's comment

  33. BRB on January 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I have always used Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Seed Savers Exchange, but since I’ve moved I need to find new sources that have seeds grown in my PNW climate. I really could use some new lettuce seed as I’ve used all of mine. Renee’s seems to have a couple interesting mixes. Lettuce, “Farmer’s Market Blend” and Lettuce, Mesclun Salad, “Paris Market Mix” both really look great. The Dill, “Dukat” also look great. The dill seed I have has gotten old and needs to be gotten rid of, it won’t germinate at all anymore, even though that never seems to stop me from trying!

    to BRB's comment

  34. Zev on January 28, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    What a good idea to support a small seed company! Think of all the people who have just spent a few minutes perusing what they have to offer!

    I’ll choose

    “Starlight” Echinacea Purpurea
    “Azure Bluebird” Forget-me-nots
    “Chianti Rose” Heirloom Tomato

    to Zev's comment

  35. […] though it is a good one! I mostly went on the recommendation of one of my favorite garden blogs, Chiot’s Run.) You can also get seeds from other gardeners – most I know have a stash of extras lying […]

    to Harrisonburg Gardening 101: Planning your Plantings |'s comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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