Raised Beds, Spot #4

Lots of Various Veggies in These Beds!

There are 3 different sets of raised beds at the Home and Gardens. Luther Burbank regularly used raised beds when he gardened here and also out at Gold Ridge Farm. This first set of raised beds is full of many(lots of scrolling!) interesting plants; Luther Burbank's most famous new species is in this set.

Can you predict which plant species it is?

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Aspara"guys" & "Artsy"chokes

Here we are at the bed closest to the Cutting Garden and the Rose Garden. The main fruit tree area is directly behind us. The feathery, fluffy, green foliage on the left is asparagus, and next to it is an artichoke plant. It's pretty neat to see both of these plants growing because when we buy and eat these veggies, we only see the stalks of the asparagus (I call 'em "asparaguys") and the heads of the artichoke.

A Closer Look at the Artichoke

Here is an artichoke plant in full swing. An artichoke head from this plant is pictured directly below.

Artichoke Flower

Most people don't get to see these flowers unless they grow artichoke plants. The purple color is so bright, it's practically electric.

Here it is, in the photo directly below ...probably the most famous and heavily used of all of Luther Burbank's new species:

The Burbank Russet Potato!

Side Trip: The Russet Potato

Today, we have lots of varieties of potatoes to choose from, and most of them are fairly large and rounded. Before Luther Burbank discovered this Russet variety, potatoes were kind of scrawny and lumpy. They certainly wouldn't qualify as good baking potatoes! Back in Massachusetts, before he came to Santa Rosa, Mr. Burbank made a rare find. He found a potato seed pod and through experimentation, discovered the Burbank Russet potato. The Russet potato is a large, smooth potato that can resist many plant diseases. It was one of the potato species successfully used in Ireland after a horrible plant disease had ruined Irish potato crops decades earlier.

Luther Burbank wanted to move to California, so he sold the rights to his amazing potato for only $150. This "seed" money was enough for him to travel west and settle in Santa Rosa. Most kids do not realize it, but whenever you eat French Fries, you're probably eating a russet potato! The russet is also considered a great baking potato. To learn more about how the Burbank russet was discovered and just how important russets are to the State of Idaho, click here. (Before you do this, you may want to bookmark this page; there is no direct route back from this connection.)

 

Here is a picture of some spineless cactus. Luther Burbank experimented with cactus for years! More info at Spot #5.

 

Dwarf Callas

 

Luther Burbank experimented with calla lilies. Here are some dwarf calla lilies in bloom. These plants have many different flower and foliage(leaf) colors.

Concord Grapes

Here is an amazing plant, the Concord grape! No, Mr. Burbank didn't create this species, but he did work to create new table (just for eating) grapes. He even did some work with his neighbor, who had a ranch just a few miles east of Santa Rosa. The neighbor? Jack London, author of White Fang and Call of the Wild.

Amaranthus - An Unusual and Beautiful Plant

Here are several varieties of amaranthus. Their pretty red and purple foliage (leaves) really stand out!

  A Closer Look at the Colors

 

 

Here is a close-up of this beautiful and unusual plant species. The very colorful amaranthus is called Tricolor amaranthus.

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To see a list of some of Mr. Burbank's Famous Plant creations, click here.