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Talkback: Ornamental veg

I picked a huge frilly, red Lollo Rosso lettuce the other day to get some leaves for my lunchtime sandwich. The fridge was stuffed with my produce from the garden so where to put the rest? It was so pretty it went into the flower vase and kept quite fresh there till I used it. Borage brightens up my potato patch and I have been known to put sweet peas in among my runner beans. I think sweetcorn looks very smart as a plant.


  • I am just starting to create a garden at my new house and I was told that i couldnt grow veg all around it as it wouldn't look right(by the other half!). My solution has been to choose vegetables that have different coloured stems, flowers and or pods. I have 5 large wigwams different varieties of beans that are begining to look more like a flower garden. Swiss and ruby chard, multi-variety lettuce seed mixes, Borage for its beautifull flowers, french beans with purple flowers and dark pods and many other vegetables in regulation green. Any spaces are filled with flowers.
  • Tomatoes in pots can add colour to this as well,alimac. You can grow yellow "Sungold" and even stripy ones. Well done,for in a new garden one usually sees annuals for quickness or a fortunate spent on large pots already in flower. Your other half should be proud of your efforts. You have fulfilled the three"E"s, economy, environmentally friendly and ethical.
  • I grow lots of chilli plants which give me flowers then green,yellow and red fruits. Salad leaves with Mustards and Mizuna. This year I am trying runner beans with white flowers as well as the usual orange/red. Purple bobby beans too. All help to make a meal look appetising.
  • Lovely ideas everyone. It really is fun going through the seed catalogues and choosing vegetable varieties that not only look stunning in their own right but also taste delicious.

    What other ideas have people tried?
  • Cardoons are very statement-like plants for a formal garden and all of the plant can be cooked and eaten, If you do have to have hanging baskets why not make them edible with herbs and mini trailing tomatoes? In one of my "Wow" factor talks I show a slide of red banana shallots ready to be harvested. They look wonderful, an all-gleaming red bunch with green stems, and bring a gasp of admiration.
  • One year I accidentally let my leeks go to seed and the flower heads were so beautiful and bee-friendly that I have deliberately left a couple of leeks to flower every year since then!
  • This year i have grown tomatos in my raised bed with cucumbers just to see if they grow just aswell as in the green house and so far so good they seem to be doing alot better especialy the tomatos which are marmande and moneymaker. The cucumber plant seems to be alot greener than the one grown in the green house but not has tall but never mind it's all about having a go.
  • ...this is about program about current situation in garden(from tonight )- I've been surprised about tv presenter's comment that...'garlic SOMETIMES HAS ONLY ONE SOLID NOT DIVIDED SEED...BECAUSE BEEN SEEDED TOO LATE''!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    sorry MR CLEVER- that's old knowledge of old druids and celtic and slavic community at least thousand years old -IF YOU WANT TO HAVE JUST ONE SEED(what's very economical and practical-less vaste)- seed it at the day(s) of FULL MOON....ask THE OLD FASHIONED GARDENERS...GOOD LUCK!!!
  • During a visit to an NGS open garden earlier this year I saw some broad beans with lovely dark red flowers in their walled garden. I'm going to try some next year in amongst my flowers. I was told the seed came from Suttons.
  • Every year at this time I get black spot on my roses even although I have sprayed them the minute I saw it on the leaves. Can I do anything to prevent this early in the year ?
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