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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Winter Wishes | French Garden Vegetables

Friday, January 11, 2019

Winter brings wishes for French garden vegetables grown from seed. January is the month seed catalogs start showing up in the mail and marks the time for dreaming and planning what to plant. 

Winter wishes for French garden vegetables
When skies are gray with low overhung clouds, grass is brown in its dormant state, and trees are stark gray with bare branches, along come seed catalogs filled with photos of plants to turn our thoughts to kitchen gardens bursting with delicious home grown vegetables. 

W I N T E R   W I S H E S  

F R E N C H   G A R D E N   V E G E T A B L E S 

Winter wishes for French garden vegetables
If you have ever traveled to France and eaten anywhere in France, you understand the fascination with French vegetables and why seeds labeled as French are offered by American gardening companies. 

Even if you have never tasted French food prepared in France, you probably have heard of French restaurants, French chefs, French cooking schools like Cordon Bleu, and French recipe books. French food is renowned world wide as delicious! 

The French SECRET? Fresh fruit and vegetables grown for flavor, not for shipping or for shelf-life, and cooked within hours of harvesting.  

Winter wishes for French garden vegetables
If you plant a garden and are looking for seeds for French vegetables sold in the United States, here are some seeds that appealed to me this winter. 

P E A S   A N D   P E A   P O D S

Winter wishes for French garden vegetables
As a Deep South born and reared native, gardening and peas are in my blood. Black-eyed peas were a staple growing up in Alabama and were grown by all my family. 

But, petit pois (very small green peas,) were not part of our traditional Southern gardens nor a favorite of mine UNTIL I ate tiny peas, picked fresh from the garden. 

Iona Petit Pois Pea

Winter wishes for French garden Iona Petit Pois Pea
"The authentic petit pois, this improved French gem is the top pick of gourmet French chefs..." 

Nothing more need be said. Of all of the tiny green peas, this one has to be THE one. 

Soleil Filet Bush Bean

Winter wishes for French garden Soleil Filet Bush Bean
Not a tiny pea, but a bean related to green beans . . . 

"Pale yellow, uniform and straight, Soleil (French for sun) is a baby Filet bean with the subtle, buttery flavor of a wax Bean."   

Soleil Filet Bush Bean is on my Winter wish list to try growing this year. Harvest when still tiny means the flavor should be at its peak. 

R A D I S H 

Flamboyant  French  Breakfast  Radish 

Winter wishes for French garden Breakfast Radish
"A French variety bred for European gourmet restaurants, these Radishes are glossy, vermilion-red jewels about 2" in length with classic white tips." 

". . . served on baguette slices spread with sweet butter." 
Could there be a better vision of a French meal? I can see a sidewalk cafe with a view of Sainte Chapelle on the Île de la Cité and with scents from the nearby flower market. 

C A R R O T 

Thumbelina  Baby  Ball  Carrot 

Winter wishes for French garden Thumbelina Baby Ball Carrot
"These Parisian Market Carrots are coveted by top chefs as well as children who eat them like deliciously sweet orange bon-bons . . . " 

". . . perfect for containers and heavy, rocky soil too." sounds like carrots that can grow in my clay soil.

Winter wishes for French garden vegetables
What better way to start these Winter wonder seeds for a French vegetable garden than in starter peat pots from France? Sold by Burpee at American garden centers, you can plant the pot directly into the soil instead of removing seedlings from the starter pots. 

Winter wishes for French garden vegetables
Now is the time to order seeds for late winter planting to have French garden vegetables for your favorite French recipes. 


You may also enjoy reading more about French vegetable gardens. 

French Heirloom Potager 

S O U R C E  for French seeds

John Scheepers Seeds @ 


Another way to dream during Winter's dreary days is by looking at Winter scenes and ideas for Winter decor in your home. 

Botanic Bleu 



  1. Now I'm craving a fresh baguette with fancy breakfast radishes and butter. Yum! From where did you get your seed catalog?

    FYI I "put up" several pints of black eyed peas for winter! We love them.

    1. Ricki,
      The food is France is always delicious! See the bottom of my post for a link to the online catalog for these seeds at John Scheepers Seeds.

      I love black-eyed peas when they are fresh, also. One of the ways I know summer has really arrived is to get fresh black-eyed peas, squash, and melons at the farmer's market.


  2. Such a beautiful sun rise this morning! I'll admit to having a bit of Spring fever, already. I've had some really epic vegetable gardening fails in the past, but I am going to try again this year and this post has given me an additional nudge in that direction. I'm also concerned with all the contaminated produce (romaine, kale etc.) in the stores and would like some control over the food we consume.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

    1. Marilyn,
      I understand your concerns about controlling the food we consume. Good luck with your garden this year.


  3. Very inspiring! Do you find you can grow these vegetables in our Texas heat? I'm thinking of trying to build a raised bed (because I have lots of Peter Rabbits) and wondering what a beginnner might have success with....

    1. Eilis,
      All of the vegetable seeds in my post are early plants and should be ready to harvest long before our heat waves in the summer arrive. I like to get as much planted by mid-March as possible. There is always a risk of late freezes, but the odds are better planting early than late because those summer hot temperatures are a sure thing. Lettuce is another early plant that most people do well with in raised beds.

      Good luck with your garden,


  4. I so wish I had a green thumb to be able to have a small garden. Unfortunately, I have to live vicariously through other gardeners as I kill everything I touch! :-) Love and hugs Judith!

  5. Hi Judith, I love to eat so naturally I'm fascinated with these French vegetable varieties. Thank you so much for sharing your post on The Creative Circle!


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