What are your three favorite things to grow in your garden?

Periodically on Dissident Potato, I hope to reach out to my readers and learn about your likes, dislikes, and knowledge about gardening. Today is my first foray into learning about you. My question:

What are your three favorite things to grow in your garden? I’ll give it a go first, placing my choices in order:

  1. Leaf lettuce: I love a lettuce and cheese sandwich as part of lunch or dinner on a warm summer day. I’m also a fan of heading out to my garden in the evening hours to cut multiple varieties of lettuce so I can make a huge salad with tons of fixins. Another reason leaf lettuce is excellent is that it’s one of the first things you can plant (it’s frost-tolerant), and you can keep cutting it just a bit above the ground-level for more leaves to develop until it gets too warm in late June or early July. My two favorite varieties are the sturdy Amish Deer Tongue lettuce and the more tender and silky Henderson’s Black Seeded Simpson lettuce.
  2. Sunflowers: I have seven large (and four small) raised beds in my backyard. Most years, I have three sunflowers growing in each of my larger beds — one next to each trellis post (used to help secure the sunflowers from gusts of winds that have toppled some of my sunflowers in the past. Why do I like them so? First, I love that pollinators love them even more than I do. It’s great to walk near a Torch Sunflower, with its multiple branches and flowers, and count several bees and butterflies feeding on the flowers’ pollen. Second, the Evening Sun Sunflower is a brilliant multi-color flower that often reaches eight or nine feet. It’s a beauty for pleasurable viewing outside my bedroom window. And third, I like the bragging rights of growing one of the tallest plants any newbie gardener has seen. I’ve grown a Titan Sunflower that surpassed 12 straight feet into the sky.
  3. Tomatoes: Okay, this one deserves an explanation. I hate most raw tomatoes. And, in a story I’ll share some other day, I blame tomatoes for once inflicting me with terrible physical and emotional pain as a child. That said, I love pulverizing tomatoes and making a yummy pasta sauce out of them. And, perhaps most important, Rebecca loves many of the tomatoes I grow. Her favorite is the Cherokee Purple Tomato. Of the many varieties, I grow each year, that is always one of them.

Okay, readers. Now it’s your turn. Fill my comments section with simple 1-2-3-lists, or flesh out the reasoning as I have if you like.

Garden on, readers!