Garden Plans for 2012: Beautiful Vegetables

We have all kinds of fun themes throughout the Demo Garden this year, and this garden is another one. The vision behind the “Beautiful Vegetables” Garden is to have plants that have strong ornamental value as well as being edible. In addition, the Master Gardeners doing the planning on this bed were interested in incorporating some plants that have higher protein content.

As you can tell, much of this garden is a departure from many of the things we typically see in a small Kansas vegetable garden, and that’s not a bad thing! (That’s what the Family of 4 garden is for.)

The centerpiece of this garden is a runner bean with attractive pink-salmon flowers, called ‘Sunset,’ lined on either side with a dwarf runner bean that has orange and white bicolor flowers.

On either end of the runner beans, we will have black sesame, which is a complete experiment, since none of us have grown it before! The catalog says it likes heat and humidity, so we’ll find out!

On the left end of the garden we are planting 2 pepper varieties that are very ornamental, while still being tasty. The right end of the garden will be dedicated to Edamame (aka soybeans eaten green). We know soybeans grow in Kansas, so it’ll be fun to watch these grow.

On the top edge, we’ll have 2 ‘Cardinal’ Basils and 2 Red Shisos. The ‘Cardinal’ Basil has a more condensed, dark purple/red flower head as opposed to spikes. Red shiso is an Asian herb often used in sushi. Then the middle will be planted to cilantro when it gets cooler in the fall.

On the bottom edge, we are going to try some red bunching onions (the tops are still green, but the stalks are red) and both a red and a green radicchio.

All in all, this will be a fun garden to see how all these different plants do for us!


About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on February 14, 2012, in Around the Garden and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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