Looking for gorgeous vegetable varieties [g]

AdamM321(MA z5/6)September 17, 2005


I want to grow a very attractive vegetable garden. I wondered if anyone wanted to share what they consider to be the most attractive vegetables to grow? Of course, anything that is vigourous and disease resistant is a good starting point. Some veggies are just prettier than others though. For instance I think there is a cabbage called January King that is pretty great looking. I love red lettuces. Anyone else?

Also I wonder if there is a book that might be about 4 season kitchen gardens?


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salads_r_us(z6 NY)

I'm glad somebody else gardens for appearance as well as taste! Cook's Garden has a beautiful romaine lettuce called Forellenschluss. It's lime green with deep red speckles. The name means "speckled like a trout." Neon eggplant is a spectacular shade of magenta.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 2:17PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Thanks MJ..they both sound very pretty..! We do like eggplant at our house, and haven't tried anything other than the black.

How about an ornamental hot pepper plant, anyone have any experience with that? Or a climbing bean? I would love to grow the Hyacinth Bean in a vegetable garden but I always think the bean itself might not be tasty, or I am going to get Japanese Beetles making holes all over it. Anyone have experience in getting a climbing bean to look good in the garden organically?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2005 at 4:07PM
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I would recommend 'Bull's Blood' beet. A very colorful dark red leaf that goes great in salads.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 1:57AM
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Raymondo(Armidale, NSW)

Triamble for a great looking pumpkin, though the plant itself is just a pumpkin plant. There are many good looking kales. I like Cavolo Nero (aka Nero di Toscana) and Red Russian. Mix up the lettuces like Lollo Bionda and Lollo Rossa. Toss in some of the different basils, and variegated thyme is nice.
I saw a veggie/herb/flower garden planted like a cottage garden - a riot of shape and colour. Quite spectacular!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 7:46AM
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beth_b_kodiak(zone 5a)

As Romando says there are some very pretty Kales. There is also red mustard and one that I'm surprised no one has mentioned, Rainbow chard. This is available from a lot of seed companies.
My favorite ornamental pepper is "Jigsaw" Foliage is varegated white and green with some purple and the stems are purplish. The peppers start purple and go through yellow,red and orange before drying up. The flowers are lavendar(Small),
This is a small plant but makes a cute edging ir house/poy plant. They are too cute to surrender to frost so dig a couple and put them on the windowsill, They'll still look colorful at Christmas.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 6:21PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)


Everyone is coming up with great ideas! I was going to add some photos of some of these plants. I know how to add one link to the bottom of this post, but how do I add a photo to the body of the post...or a couple of links to the post? Anyone know?


    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 7:09PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Okay, I am back and have figured out how to post photos to posts. It really was very easy. I visited the Computer Help forum and there is a post about posting pics.

I found a photo of a gorgeous pepper...it is called Black Hungarian Pepper..what do you think?


    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 8:57AM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Raymondo suggested a Triamble pumpkin. Not sure if this is it, as it is labeled a squash, but see if this looks like it Ray

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 9:03AM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Okay I am going to try to do the rest of what people have already suggested...

Lettuce Forellenshuluss

Neon Eggplant

January King Cabbage

Bull's Blood Beet

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 9:09AM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Okay, continuing...

This one is the Nero di Toscana Kale...

Someone suggested Red Russian Kale...

Here is the Lolo Rossa Lettuce...

The Lacinato Kale

And I found another lettuce that looks gorgeous..

Black Velvet Lettuce it is called.

These are all great catalog photos of these vegetables, I just wonder if there is anyone who has tried any of them and if they live up to expectations?


    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 9:18AM
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salads_r_us(z6 NY)

Wow, thanks for the pictures, Adam. I'm planting some Bulls Blood beet in my greenhouse for the dark red "greens," but it looks as if the roots are pretty, too. Love that Black Velvet lettuce. It looks like one I just started called Revolution.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 8:48AM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

MJ...Yes, the Bull's Blood look very red, what do the tops look like? Not a very fun name though..lol. Isn't the Black Velvet lettuce something? Is this what your Revolution looks like?


    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 1:53PM
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salads_r_us(z6 NY)

My beets aren't up yet, but the tops look like a dark maroon in the catalog. I read somewhere that they're a good variety for salad greens in the greenhouse -- might not produce much in the way of roots. That lettuce looks the way Revolution did in the catalog. Mine are just tiny seedlings so far.


    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 5:14PM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

Oh..sorry MJ...didn't pay close enough attention. Sometimes I am rushing. [g]


    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 7:40AM
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AdamM321(MA z5/6)

I found a few more that are quite attractive, but not sure how they are to grow or whether they taste as good as they look...
what do you think?

Chris Cross watermelon

Emerald Gem melon

Here is a new ornamental pepper called 'Explosive Ember'


    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 8:24AM
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That black velvet lettuce looks spectacular, I'm going to have to try it.
Bright lights swiss chard (most anywhere, even walmart) is georgious in the garden I'm growing it now an DH commented on it. I think it's the same as rainbow chard which someone mentioned above.

I'm growing a purple variety of brussel sprouts called falstaff (still very small-cooks garden).

Also purple pole beans are pretty on the vine, trionfo violetto (cooks garden), scarlet runners, and lablab (hyacinth) bean.

Tumbler tomatoes are supposed to be very pretty-also comes in a yellow cherry tom.

Nasturtiums are a flower that the whole thing is edible-good in salads, flowers leaves, seeds stems. comes in lots of pretty flower colors, there are cascading and even vining varities.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2005 at 1:25PM
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faithling(z4 VT)

In addition to the gorgeous individual vegetable varieties recommended, combinations of common vegetables can be very pretty as well. I like purple cabbages interplanted with savoy -- they look like giant green and purple roses. I plant tangerine gem French marigold (edible flowers) with them to further highlight the colors. Orange-colored blossoms (marigold, california poppy, calendula, etc.) go well with with many of the blue/green or purple vegetables. The blue-green color and spikey texture of leeks is especially stunning with the oranges and yellows at this time of year.

As noted by others, the rainbow chard is gorgeous all summer long but is really big and beatiful in the fall. And I love the cinnamon or Thai basil that has the purple stems with green leaves. But if you plant a lot of vegies with purple or red leaves be sure to balance that with plenty of dark and light greens of spinach, oakleaf lettuce, etc. The reds are only pretty in relation to the greens.

As mentioned already, purple pole beans and scarlet runner beans are both lovely and delicious. Purple peacock runners are tender and tasty and the bean pods of scarlets are big and fuzzy but surprisingly "meaty" and good to eat. You can also use the dried beans in soups.

I am also a fan of the delicata squashes and am especially fond of the new cultivar called Carnival that looks and tastes great. There are a number of snow pea varieties that have very pretty purple blossoms and I always love the vigorous green of potato leaves and their blossoms as well. And don't forget the great looking okra flowers and eggplant blossoms.

Providing some formal structure to your garden, keeping plants healthy with lots of compost and TLC and planting with an eye to contrasting/complementing colors and textures will go a long way to achieving the beauty you seek in your vegetable garden.

The ultimate 4 season gardening book is Eliot Colemen's "4 Season Harvest."

    Bookmark   October 9, 2005 at 9:38PM
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