Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Heirloom Seed Giveaway!

Renee's Garden, one of the sponsors of this year's Spring Fling, graciously provided Fling Committee members free seeds to give gardeners attending our discussion on garden blogging at the Chicagoland Flower & Garden Show on Saturday. Renee's garden sells fine heirloom flower, herb, and gourmet vegetable seeds from around the world.

Since Renee was so generous and provided more seeds than we needed at the show, I have some to give away!

Aren't they pretty?

I have fourteen packets of Merveille de Quatre Saisons heirloom lettuce to share, and I'll do it the old-fashioned way by drawing names out of a hat. Listen to the description of this lettuce:

This centuries-old French heirloom bibb lettuce has big heads of radiant color with beautiful ruby-red leaves that surround tightly folded green hearts.

Merveille is a visual treat that is wonderfully ornamental in the garden. This cherished favorite of many generations will please your palate with large heavy rosettes of crispy, fine-flavored leaves. We import our selected cultivar of Merveille from Europe, because it reliably produces an abundance of big, heavy heads with a particularly lovely color, form, and flavor.

If you live in the US or Canada and would like a packet of these seeds, please leave a comment telling me what other vegetables you're growing in your garden this year. Even if you don't normally grow veggies, this lettuce is so pretty it would be divine in an ornamental garden. Leave your comment by midnight central time on Saturday, March 14, and on Sunday I'll draw names from a hat and announce the winners!

p.s. I'm off to the garden show again today!

3/16/08: Hi Everyone! Thanks for playing! Please see the March 15, 2009 post for a list of the winners.

Winners, please email me your full name and mailing address, and I'll get seeds out to you pronto!


  1. I am growing cabbage, Brussel sprouts, peas, onions, garlic, and radishes right this minute in the garden. I have seedlings of Broccoli Raab, more cabbage and cilantro in the coldframe waiting to be planted. Let the growing season begin! Those seeds are pretty.

  2. That really is pretty lettuce. I love to see the reds among the greens in the veggie garden.
    We have garlic up 2" and will be planting spinach, lettuce, mesclun mix, radishes, onions, chard, peas, beans, carrots, tomatoes, squash, pumpkins and more....
    I can't wait!
    It's sweet of you to want to share :)

  3. I'll be growing spinach, green beans, bell peppers, lettuce, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, onions, garlic, and eggplant. I'm sure that I forgot something, because I haven't had my first dose of caffeine yet this morning!

  4. Wow, those look beautiful. I am hoping for enough room and energy to grow carrots, potatoes, spinach, radish, chives, garlic, onions, squash, peppers, peas, beans, and cucumbers. I must admit even "saying" it sounds a bit ambitious....

  5. Well, aside from the lettuce, I love Renee's vintage packets! I ordered a bunch of stuff last year from her. But I planted before all the trees leafed out, and realized I'd planted where there was too much shade. Live and learn.

  6. I love to grow beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, mesclun, carrots, onions, and every year I try zuchinni.

    This year I am adding lettuce, and would love to try this heirloom seed.

    Great idea.


  7. Anonymous10:16 AM

    What a great giveaway! I'm growing tomatoes, pole beans, bell peppers, onions, squash, and cucumbers in my garden this year. I might of left something out. :)

  8. Anonymous10:18 AM

    I'm trying tomatoes, Swiss chard and some salad greens on the balcony this year. The seed packets are so pretty!

  9. Sounds like a dream come true! My garden is a homemade hydroponic system built outdoors. Each year I grow lettuce, parsely, basil, green peppers, cayenne peppers and tomatoes. I always support keeping heirloom strains alive...

  10. I'll be growing maybe a dozen varieties of heirloom tomatoes (what? no, it doesn't matter my bed isn't big enough for that yet!), horseradish, half-white runner beans, Fordhook zucchini, pumpkins, jalapeno pepper, red pepper, chard, lettuce in my raised drawer bed (so far I have Asian baby leaf and garden babies butterhead, both from Renee's Seeds), chives, borage, and basil. Oh my! I can assure you the four season Merveille would fit right in! ;-)

  11. I'm always excited to try any French heirloom seeds I can get--I teach French and my garden provides a great alternative classroom during nice weather. Last year I grew a French lettuce called 'oreilles du diable' or devil's ears. The name was a hoot and the lettuce was spectacular. What are we growing this year? The garlic and shallots are up. The peas are waiting to be planted this weekend. Radishes, carrots, beets, beans, spinach, orach all from seed. For the sunlovers we'll be using starts--no green house, yet. Oh, I forgot the purple potatoes!

  12. Wow. I have tomatoes, basil and brussels sprouts started.

  13. While in Italy last summer I visited the main vegetable market in Rome. Found some delicious tomatoes which I saved a few seeds from. They are growing well and hopefully will work out.

    In addition I am also planning on growing the following heirlooms that I have ordered for other sse members.

    Burgundy Amaranth, Brilliant Celeriac,Halblange Parsnip, Aci Sivri Pepper(Hot), Galeux d'Eysines Pumpkin, Zucchina Costata Romanesco Squash, Persian Lentils, Baxter's Sweet Corn, French Summer Leek, French Fingerling Potatoes,Brown Sonora Garbanzo Beans, Beaver Dam Pepper(Hot), Pizza Pepper(Hot), Red Chile Pepper(Hot), Greygo Sweet Pepper, Black/Kali Gram Mung, Caro Siberia Tomato, Beam's Yellow Pear Tomato, Sudduth's Brandywine Tomato, Caspian Pink Tomato, Black from Tula Tomato, Amish Paste Tomato, Good Mother Stallard Beans, Cherokee (Trail of Tears) Beans, Blue Lake Pole Beans, King Tut Peas.

    Would love to have an heirloom lettuce to add to this list!

  14. In addition to the usual peppers & parsley, I'm going to be trying new things this year. I've already decided I want to grow zucchini, and the girl has asked for broccoli.

  15. Hello, I wont be in the giveaway since I got mine from the show,...

    I just remembered did you see the Small bird flying around in your seminar in the room!!!? Hilarious!

    He must have known there were Nature Lovers present!! hee hee

    I couldnt believe my eyes when he flew past! I seriously thought.. oh my goodness ... I have too much "gardening on the BRAIN!!"

    Then someone else saw it and I Knew I was ok... ha


  16. Ally in WA6:29 PM

    Thanks for the chance to win! I'm growing radishes, tomatoes, green beans, carrot, zucchini, bell peppers, and I know i have forgotten one or two more.


  17. Linda, Hello...I just got my seed order from Renee's...but I am game for a drawing! I am growing arugula, Swiss chard, basil, fennel, rosemary, parsley and I might try container tomatoes. lettuce would be a nice addition! Thanks for sharing! gail

  18. How fun!
    I'm growing tomatoes, zucchini, carrots, lettuce, sugar snap peas, and more.
    I think the artwork on Renee's Gardens seeds are so pretty. I'm always drawn to them.

  19. Hi GG, I'm growing fourteen different varieties of tomato, green beans (pole), three varieties of summer squash, kale, a couple varieties of lettuce, spinach, beets, red chard, potatoes & onions. I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think off. Whew! Prolly don't need another packet of seeds, but I'll find the room. :) ~~Dee

  20. Hi Linda,
    How nice of you to do a drawing with your extra seeds. yes, very pretty packaging... love seed packets.

    I'm not sure that variety would grow well here but I could certainly give it a go if I happened to win. I'm growing tomatoes, lettuce (a heat wave variety) carrots, onions, peppers, beans, squash, peas, all kinds of herbs, eggplant, okra... I think that's it generally.

    Thanks again.
    Meems @ Hoe and Shovel

  21. I like to grow vegetables and I try to grow something new each year. I also try to grow a vegetable purely for its ornamental value and if we eat it, all the better!

    This year's veggies (planned so far) will be: carrots, green beans, beets, melons, zucchini, and sweet corn. OH, and tomatoes! I only grew a mesclun mix lettuce last year, and would LOVE to plant this Merveille!

    Thanks to you and Renee for sharing! :-)

  22. Anonymous1:24 AM

    That's so kind of you. I have lettuce growing out my ears or I would love some. Thank you.

  23. Hi Linda, congrats on your first speaking engagement at the flower show..I would have loved to have been there! The pig photo is great! What a fun idea on the raffle but I'll pass since I get plenty of lettuce from a neighbor's garden.

  24. I actually have this variety growing right now in a cold frame -

    It is indeed pretty - both in the garden and in salads. That picture was taken just a few days ago of plants started indoors on Nov. 16 and planted out after about a month. This variety has been 100% cold hardy for me down to low teens.

    BTW, I don't need seeds. I grow my own.

  25. We always grow (and will be growing this year) green beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, banana peppers, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, chile peppers, (I LIKE PEPPERS!) baby red potatoes, romaine lettuce, spinach, carrots, brussel sprouts, acorn squash, butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and lots and lots of FLOWERS! :) I love gardening and enjoy it so much, as many others do. The lettuce looks lovely, and I would love to plant it this year too! :)

  26. I am growing lettuce, tomaotoes, squash, herbs, carrots, onions, green onions, leeks, radishes and peppers.

  27. I visited Renee's Seeds the other day after seeing it in the sidebar of the Spring Fling website. I'm sure her seeds are great, but I really love the packaging! This year I plan to grow green beans, lettuce, spinach, zucchini, green peppers, tomatoes, carrots and maybe some beets. I'll probably add more if there's room!

  28. Hi Linda, I love Renee's Seeds! I have gone overboard with the seeds, but lettuce is something that grows so easily and new kinds are so fun. We are growing sugar snap peas, radishes, carrots, lettuce, broad beans, squash, tomaotes, beets, peppers, green beans, cukes, basil, kale, dill, parsley, cilantro, garlic, melons, and potatoes. And flowers, of course.

  29. We're planting tomatoes, onions, peppers, watermelon and a few carrots.

  30. I'll be doing english cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, string or snap peas, basil, rosemary, tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. I'd like to try a kale this year as well.

  31. Thank you everyone for playing, and congratulations to the winners!


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