The Prettiest Veggies to Plant in Your Flower Garden
Vegetables can be colorful and beautiful additions to your summer flower garden. Check out these edible landscaping ideas you'll want to use now!
Sure, roses are gorgeous. But did you know that many vegetables are equally stunning when grown in your flowerbeds? We spoke to Niki Jabbour, edible gardening expert, book author and frequent contributor to our sister magazine, Birds & Blooms. She told us about the top plants to create a garden that’s as beautiful as it is delicious.
Though this leafy green isn’t as well-known as its more popular counterparts, it’s pretty gorgeous in the garden. Any kind of rainbow Swiss chard is lovely, but Niki recommends picking up a cultivar like Bright Lights or Peppermint that really let their colors pop. Here’s what to make with your chard.
Not only are strawberries deliciously sweet, they add a gorgeous pop of color to any garden, whether you plant them in the flowerbed or a container. The appeal lasts—before the bright-red fruits come along, strawberry plants bloom in white, red or light pink. Check out our favorite ways to use fresh strawberries.
Red-veined sorrel looks similar to Swiss chard—with green leaves and (yep) red veins—but its leaves are much smaller. It’s a great green to use in salad mixes or sauteed as a side, and unlike many other herbs and veggies, it can survive many of the harsher elements.
Scarlet Runner Beans
Niki explains that scarlet runner beans not only offer a gorgeous pop of red to your vegetable garden, but they also attract hummingbirds—and they make a great living wall, if you’re looking to build one or add to yours! Niki also recommends checking out a variety like Golden Sunshine, which has lime green leaves and red blooms. Check out our favorite ways to cook green beans.
Basil itself is a kitchen garden necessity—when left untrimmed, it will sprout white flower spikes. But many of basil’s sister varieties are equally, if not more, stunning. Spicy Globe basil has tiny green leaves that cluster—you could grow a full pot of this plant and never realize it was edible. And can we talk about Dark Opal basil? Its leaves are perfectly purple and it can grow to nearly a foot and a half tall. Honestly, I would grow a garden of just this herb.
Purple of Sicily Cauliflower
Even when it’s white, cauliflower is a pretty cool-looking plant. But turn it purple and you’ve got a garden and dinner table standout. Purple of Sicily cauliflower is insect resistant and can yield several pounds at a time. Try grilling purple cauliflower!
Lollo Rossa Lettuce
Red leaf lettuce generally has an ombre pattern, starting bright green at the roots and gradually shifting to a brownish-red at its leaves. Lollo Rossa’s leaves are ruffled, making it ideal to grow in small clusters and to add a pop of color between green plants in the garden. Here’s everything you need to know about salad greens.
The wonderful thing about globe artichokes is that they’re beautiful both before and after they bloom. Prior to blooming, they’re round and green—and edible! (Check out our favorite ways to prepare this vegetable.) After blooming, they’re no longer fit for the plate, but they can provide much-needed variety to monochromatic gardens.
Hot peppers come in so many different colors—red, yellow, orange, lime green, even purple—and that’s what makes them such a great choice for any vegetable garden, according to Niki. The plants themselves are beautiful, but the peppers stand out among the leaves, with gorgeous colors that attract the eye.
Unlike Italian parsley, the curly variety does exactly what its name implies—the leaves curve and twist, making them an ideal choice for adding visual variety to your gardening setup. Niki recommends using them to edge beds, or allowing them to hang over the lips of flowerpots and window boxes. Use your harvest to try out these simple lemon parsley potatoes.
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