Winter is here, and I'm dreaming of a "Game of Thrones" garden. There will be dragons in my beds, along with wolves, stags and lions. It didn't start out as a "Game of Thrones" homage, rather, it's letting my 9-year-old grandson make the choices. He likes the vegetables with fanciful names that depict animals.
But the garden reflects my mind, and I've been binge-watching the medieval-meets-fantasy show since getting the entire series for Christmas, so a GOT garden it is. The grandson is too young to know the darker meaning I'm assigning to his choices; I'm content to let him choose which Houses are represented by his innocent youth.
The wolf pumpkin is one to plan our jack-o'-lanterns around. The large, orange pumpkin weighs in at 16 to 24 pounds and sports a giant stem, making lifting the cut top easy. Exclusive to Johnny's Select Seeds, the company recommends giving this gourd plenty of space to grow. I'm not growing tomatoes or other nightshades this year, so the wolves can roam free through the vegetable patch.
We shouldn't have a wolf without something named snow, so another Johnny's Select Seed product, Snowball pumpkin, has made the list. Both child and grandma are excited to try this white, round little globe because it's perfect for painting in fall. While he's thinking ghosts or bats, I'm thinking of house sigils and what best sums up our clan. Flamingos come to mind.
Deer tongue lettuce, an Amish variety, is an early-season choice with soft leaves and nice flavor. It doesn't stand up to hail, so put it in a protected location. Tasty enough to be listed on Slow Food USA'a Ark of Taste, a catalogue of distinctive foods, its flavor is nutty and a bit sharp, but excellent in salads. Seed Savers Exchange has this lettuce variety available.
Flashy Trout Back lettuce is another Ark of Taste member, and well deserved: the buttery, soft leaves and mild flavor make it a favorite of gardeners. Also known as Forellenschluss, this variety is easy to grow and productive enough to make any House Tully member proud. Renee's Garden Seeds sells this variety.
Little Finger carrots promise kids and adults a taste they'll never forget. With their petite size and sweet flavor, this Nantes type grows well in Colorado's heavier clay soils. Carrots are ideal for spring sowing, and then sow every three weeks until the end of July. Botanical Interests offers this variety.
Dragon's Egg cucumbers are ones I've grown before, and they've earned a place in the garden year after year. Producing tasty, egg-sized cucumbers, the portion is perfect for smaller households. Since I can relate to many of Khaleesi's moves, these are perfect for our themed garden. Find this variety at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
Where are the lions, for house Lannister? Look no further than the weeds around the yard and you'll see plenty of dandelions. Annoying, invasive and everywhere I look, this is an apt representation of the grasping clan with delusions of grandeur. If you cut off their heads they make a nice little wine.