colour in the winter vegetable garden

I know it is spring now – but in terms of the vegetable garden, most of what is in there is still wintery-fare.

Where I live, what I can grow in the winter is mostly green things: silverbeet, leeks, spinach, spring onions, brassicas, herbs. I’m grateful to live somewhere where it is possible to grow food all year around, but all the same, by the end of winter – I get a little tired of just greens and look forward to the colours of the summer garden: chillies, tomatoes, nasturtium flowers, the bright red flowers of scarlet runner beans…

In winter, I have to sneak a bit of colour into the garden – just to cheer me up. This is how I do it:

Choosing rainbow silverbeet – the stalks are wonderful candy colours – bright pink, orange, yellow.

& Growing marigolds as companion plants. I know some people think they are tacky – but I love the colour they bring to an otherwise pretty dark winter garden.

Harvesting greens in my op-shopped bright red colander.

& Growing radishes – their hot pink pop can really liven up yet another green salad. Also, they grow from seed to plate in about three weeks. The closest thing you can get to instant gratification in a vegetable garden. These ones are ‘French Breakfast’ – which I grow because they are much sweeter and milder than other varieties, so more child-friendly.

I saw on an Anthony Bourdain Food show that in France people smear these with butter as part of a breakfast meal. I tried it and found it to be kind of gross, to be honest. I think I’ll stick to chopping them up and chucking them in a salad. The French love to put butter on everything, don’t they?

Have you got any other ideas about adding colour to a winter vegetable garden?

7 responses to “colour in the winter vegetable garden”

  1. yum yum french breakfast radishes! don’t seem to grow well in pots unfortunately (or I don’t water my pots enough probably). That silverbeet photo could win a prize! Almost makes it look yummy.


  2. Ha ha – aah silverbeet – so pretty, yet so iron-tasting.

    I have a glut of it at the moment, too – not the most exciting glut to have – but I’m plotting up some ways to use it all….lie back and think of the iron and vitamin C, Helen. 😉 x


  3. I’m growing my first fall/winter garden this year. I chose carrots (which I found “carnival carrots” in purple, yellow and orange”, beets and butternut squash. I have other “green” vegetables, but those , of course, aren’t colorful. Ornamental kale may be a good choice to add color. I add it to soups and stir fries even though it’s “ornamental”. I have found that it attracts aphids, though. Other types of squash would be colorful, too: pumpkin, acorn squash, etc, if you have the room.


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