Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > May 2013 > There Are Peppers in My Flowerbed!

There Are Peppers in My Flowerbed!

I’ve got such a limited amount of sun and want to grow vegetables but don’t want to sacrifice flowers. So I sometimes tuck veggies in the middle of my flowers. When I’ve mentioned this option to other people, sometimes they look aghast. Combine flowers and veggies? Oh my! Fortunately, the Plant Police don’t really care….
One of my favorite combinations to grow in pots on my deck is an eggplant, with its pretty silvery leaves and big lavender flowers, surrounded by purple angelonia or a double lavender flowered petunia. I usually add purple-leafed basil for a contrast in texture and color. I’ll have company over for a cookout and they’ll comment on the flowers in pots on my deck. It may take an hour or more for someone to finally notice that one of the plants is an eggplant.
Peppers are fairly compact plants, with dark green leaves, white flowers, and shiny fruits. My neighbor, who is hooked on jalapenos, puts hers in the back of her flowerbed, with bright red salvia in front. Most people don’t even notice that the glossy-leaved little bushes are actually pepper plants.
Many herbs are attractive plants on their own. Lavender is grown as often for its showy blue/purple flowers as it is for its delightful fragrance. I’ve always grown chives, with its spiky foliage and puffy lavender flowers, in my perennial bed as well as parsley, with its lacy dark green leaves. I’ve done variegated sage to bright a window box and really like Dark Opal basil anywhere with its pretty purple foliage. 
Scarlet Runner beans are stunning vining plants offset with brilliant red flowers, followed by edible snap beans. I let it climb up the shepherd’s hook where I hang my hummingbird feeder. It’s so pretty that the greens beans are a bonus. Other ornamental and edible beans to look for are Pencil Pod or Wax beans with bright yellow pods, Trionfo Violetto with deep purple pods or Royal Burgundy with burgundy red pods. Can you imagine snap beans almost too pretty to snap?
Swiss chard is a mild flavored heat-resistant green sometimes called Summer Spinach. It comes with brightly colored stems in yellow, orange, red, pink, or white. Plant a rainbow of Swiss Chard in your flower beds and harvest all summer long. The variety Bright Lights or has stems in bright mixed colors and Ruby Red has attractive rosy-red stems.
For spring and fall color, I do lettuces, such as Lolla Rossa or Red Sails with beautiful bronze accents or Oak Leaf with pretty serrated leaves in window boxes. If you do leaf lettuces, then you can simply harvest the outer leaves, leaving the inner leaves to keep growing. There are other pretty greens, as well, like Lacinato and Red Winter kale, Ruby Streaks mustard, or Bordeaux spinach, with bright red steaks in the leaves. The advantage to growing in window boxes is being able to move them into shadier spots when the temperatures warm up. 
Posted: 5/13/2013 by Bonnie Pega | with 0 comment(s)
Filed under: BonniePega, Bonnie'sGarden
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