Espelette Pepper Winter Miracle with a Side of Beefsteak Begonia

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Last year I was able to purchase hard-to-find Basque Espelette pepper seeds from Europe. I purchased them legally, with my seed importation permit, and although I am aware that when grown outside of their AOC they are no longer considered certified, I had to go through all of this because I love my husband, and he really wanted them. Besides, he knows how to use the dried pepper product, and that seemed important at the time.

Now, almost a year later, and after a horrible summer here in the NW, I have one pepper. It was still green when I brought it in from the garden in October, and then I set about trying to ripen it while it was still attached to the plant. It lives now amongst the houseplants under the lights and it is ripening. We never thought we would see this day, and as pathetic as it might seem, it is our little winter gardening miracle.

In addition to our one little pepper “that can!” I have also been enjoying my Beefsteak Begonia (Begonia ‘Erythrophylla’) though I think it should have been called Lily Pad Begonia instead. Purchased last year, it grew quite a bit this past summer on the porch and it needed better placement in the house. It now sits beside my chair in the front window and it is very happy there. I cannot wait to see what it does next.
I have no idea what variety of Begonia this is yet, but this is actually a cutting that is sitting in my window and it is blooming for us right now! What a great little winter gift.