Game of Thrones Garden
(Image #1: “Little Finger” Carrots from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds)
Last April I received a small seed order from Baker Creek that included “Little Finger” carrots. Now, I like carrots fresh from the garden as much as anyone, but I wasn’t thinking about food when I ordered these seeds. I was thinking about the creepy character Petyr Baelish and that a Game of Thrones themed garden would be funny. After all, there are Shakespeare gardens (where you grow the herbs and flowers from Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays)—and other theme gardens, too. In fact, Barbara Damrosch has a whole book about them, and it includes medieval gardens, secret gardens, butterfly gardens . . . you get the idea. My family has been obsessed with GoT, and we were looking forward to another season, so I thought I’d pursue this idea.
(Image #2: “Dragon Tongue Bean” from the Hudson Valley Seed Library)
What other plants might be included? To see where the idea might lead, I put up a Facebook event, a “Game of Thrones Garden Contest” on my Greenwoman Publishing page. Readers could post what they would plant in a GoT garden, and whoever got the most “likes” would receive an issue of Greenwoman. I think I ran the contest for a couple of weeks. I didn’t get a lot of participants (I imagine many thought, “What the ?”), but the ones who did participate were very much into it. One of the first entries was “Winter is Coming Kale.” Clever, I thought. Then someone posted this amazing seed package for dragon gourds:
(Image #3: Dragon Gourd seeds found on Amazon—sadly no longer available)
Others came up with interesting, but perplexing entries, such as “Cersei and Jaime Incestuous Heirloom Tomatoes.” I’m guessing this one would require cross breeding of siblings from a parent tomato plant? Jessy Randall entered “White Walker White Asparagus” which was creepy as hell.
(Image #4: White Walker White Asparagus)
Another friend posted, “I’d choose ‘Wall’ flowers but my garden’s not cold enough.” Another clever entry—simple, yet brilliant, as wallflowers are pretty common perennials in many parts of the country.
My personal favorite was “King of the North Peppers.”
(Image #5: Another beautifully designed seed package from Hudson Valley Seed Library.
Perfect for a GoT garden. [The curved tabs fold to make the back of the package.])
I also loved “John Snow Peas.” (Yet to be realized in real seeds.)
Someone suggested “Winter is Coming Strawberry Spinach.” I’d never heard of a strawberry spinach plant. Was this one imaginary too?
(Illustration #6: Strawberry Spinach)
Nope, it was real. It’s an herb, Native American, and apparently one of the “best kept secrets in the plant world.” (I sense hyperbole.) It’s available here from Park Seed. Those aren’t really strawberries, but they are berries (obviously) and the leaves are supposed to taste good in salads. . . . and it’s pretty.
Then there was the blue shrimp plant, when someone posted “Imp of Blue Shrimp.”
(Image #7: Blue Shrimp Plant – image from eBay where seeds are for sale.)
And, finally (of course!) someone added dragon blood tree, Dracaena cinnabari.
(Image # 8: Photo by Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia—via Wikimedia Commons.)
While many entries received multiple “likes,” one Facebook friend outscored everyone, David King with his “Winter is Coming Kale” (kale is still big, you know). David humbly said he probably won because he was the first to enter and so had time to get more votes.
I learned that David is one fascinating green man. He’s the founder and first Chair of the Seed Library of Los Angeles (formed in 2010). Their mission is to provide a source to grow clean, wholesome, non-GMO food for everyone in the area, especially the underserved and compromised communities.
I also learned that David started gardening at age five with his grandpa in Kansas, and that he’s an educator (UCLA Extension classes), author, writer, gardener, speaker and activist. I was so excited that I wanted to send him more than one Greenwoman issue. I sent off two boxes of Greenwoman (and a few copies of Zera and the Green Man) for him to share with other garden lovers.
Once more I find that silly ideas can sometimes lead to very interesting adventures.
Have you ever tried a theme garden? And if you started a Game of Thrones garden, what would you grow there?