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Grow Veggies in your Landscape

March 10th, 2009 by Veggie Master · 2 Comments

No room for a vegetable garden?  Don’t despair!  There are all kinds of attractive veggies which will look decorative growing among your flowers or in a bed of their own in your front yard.  

Bright Lights Chard from Johnnys Selected Seeds

Bright Lights Chard from Johnny's Selected Seeds

One of the prettiest is “Bright Lights” chard which grows 12-18 inches tall and has green savoyed leaves with either brilliant red, yellow or orange veins and stalks.  Chard is mild in flavor and delicious in salads when picked young or use the more mature leaves in soups and stir-frys.  Plant seeds in mid-spring and your harvest will continue all season long.

Many varieties of lettuce will enhance your landscape.  One of my favorites is a romaine lettuce called “Freckles”.  It has bright green leaves with spashes of burgundy red.  The meaty leaves have a good flavor.  This lettuce is slow to bolt so it will withstand more heat than other varieties.  Two loose-leaf letuces which will pretty-up any garden are bright green, crinkly-leafed “Green Ice” and very deeply colored “Red Velvet” with its ruffled, delicious leaves.  Both are about 8 inches tall and will produce until summer’s heat shuts them down.  Planting any lettuce where it will receive an hour or two of mid-day shade will help lengthen its season.

The green, ferny tops of carrots add a nice foliage accent to a flower bed.  Since carrots are a root crop, they take advantage of the available sub-soil level of your decorative gardens.  If your soil is not loose and deep, try “Nantes”, a French heirloom variety with 1 x 6 inch blunt-ended carrots that are crisp and delicious.  After harvesting this variety will last for months in ventilated plastic bags in your refrigerator’s crisper.

If you have a fence, grow pole or runner beans along it.  They have deep green, heart-shaped leaves and either white or purple flowers.  Pick beans when young and cook lightly or let the pods mature and harvest the dried beans for winter storage.  They make a nice addition to soups at any stage.

Miniature pumpkins will also grow on a fence with the aid of a few strings attached to the top and dropped down to the growing plants.  “Jack Be Little” is a charming 3-5 inch wide flattened pumpkin perfect for autumn table decoration.

Jack Be Little Pumpkin from Johnny's Selected Seeds

Many herbs are very decorative growing in the garden.  Bronze fennel sends up a delicate and airy stalk that is 2-3 feet tall.  Curly parsley looks pretty on your dinner plate as well as in your landscape.  Borage has beautiful sky-blue flowers which have a cucumber flavor and can be used in summer drinks.

Now that you have the idea, take a look at growing your own vegetables from another perspective – which ones can I grow and add beauty to my landscape at the same time?

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Veggie Master

    Yes, Heidi, chard grows beautifully in containers. Choose one that is deep enough – 8 inches or more – so that drying out is not a problem. Micro drip irrigation will make watering even easier. Add a timer and you’re home free!

  • Heidi

    Have you tried Swiss Chard in containers? I planted Bright Lights in my flower garden quite late in the season last year and enjoyed a late harvest, but wondered how it does in containers. We have a new deck and I’m thinking of growing it on the edge of our deck in window boxes.

    Happy growing!

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