Let Vegetables Spice up Garden with Bright Colors and Flavor

NuMex Easter ornamental pepper brightens a border or patio. (Photo courtesy of National Garden Bureau)

NuMex Easter ornamental pepper brightens a border or patio. (Photo courtesy of National Garden Bureau)

This morning as I walked to the library, I noticed that a neighbor had covered her shrubs with white sheets to protect them from last night’s below-freezing temperatures.  Her front yard resembled a collection of spooky trick-or-treaters.

Now that temperatures are forecasted to warm up, the plant covers can come off, and we can install warm season vegetables in our garden beds.

This year, why not make your garden more enticing with vegetables that are ornamental, as well as flavorful?

NuMex Easter pepper, a 2014 All-America Selections winner, is a compact plant with small clusters of cute, hot ornamental peppers in Easter-egg shades of lavender, yellow and light orange.  Although this beauty won’t tolerate frost, it will tolerate normal to dry soil conditions and deliver solid performance as a container plant or low-growing edger.

Lemon cucumbers, with their fresh, mild taste, are a delight in the garden.  These round fruits with their lemony-yellow color reach about three inches in diameter and can be eaten like an apple.  I grew these last year and dubbed them a favorite for both appearance and flavor.

Calliope eggplant is a small, oval Asian-style eggplant so attractive that you'll want to display it before eating it. (Photo courtesy of National Garden Bureau)

Calliope eggplant is a small, oval Asian-style eggplant so attractive that you’ll want to display it before eating it. (Photo courtesy of National Garden Bureau)

Calliope eggplant provides a stunning display with its white-striped purple skin complemented by soft green foliage.  At maturity, the fruits are three to four inches long with a diameter of about 2.5 inches.

Lizzano F1 semi-determinate cherry tomato offers a continuous crop of fruit to perk up  containers or hanging baskets.  As the one-inch fruits mature from green to bright red, they display color rivaling that of many flowers.  Lizzano is a 2011 All-America Selections winner.

To see more delicious and attractive vegetables, visit the National Garden Bureau website at ngb.org.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Plant Geekiness, Produce Dept.

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