This year, grow a vegetable garden that's colorful and delicious with out-of-the-ordinary vegetables. They're a great way to feed your family and save on the grocery bills. So dress up your garden —and dishes—with these stunning selections.
Nothing says summer like a juicy red tomato. Try heirloom varieties that introduce a rainbow of colors, including 'Cherokee Purple', yellow 'Lemon Boy', pink 'Brandywine', 'Green Zebra', orange 'Tangella', and creamy 'Snow White' in your garden.
Count on peppers to brighten (or spice up) your garden and meals. Most bell peppers start green but ripen to red, yellow, orange, or purple ('Purple Belle' is especially beautiful) if you let them. Grow a few hot peppers for even more variety—some, such as 'Bolivian Rainbow' or 'NuMex Twilight' bear fruits in several colors at the same time.
Surprise friends and neighbors by pulling purple, red, yellow, or white carrots out of your garden. That's right—carrots aren't just orange. So enjoy their jewel-like colors in your favorite carrot cake or salad. Standout varieties include 'Purple Haze', 'White Satin', 'Yellowstone', and 'Red Samurai'.
One of the most beautiful vegetables you can grow, tasty Swiss chard is often used as an ornamental thanks to its bold red, yellow, orange, or white stems. 'Bright Lights' is an especially beautiful award-winning selection.
Cauliflower is traditionally creamy white (because the leaves wrap over the head and keep the sun from it), but you can enjoy it in purple and orange, too. Like other vegetables, the colorful varieties are healthier than the plain-white types. Watch for purple 'Graffiti' and orange 'Cheddar'.
Love them or hate them, most beet varieties are beautifully imbued with a rich, burgundy-red color. But you can also grow types such as 'Chioggia' with candy-pink or golden roots. Or go bold and try 'Bull's Blood', which features deep burgundy foliage that's perfect in salads.
Healthy, delicious, and easy to grow: Green beans have it all—especially when you grow varieties such as 'Royal Burgundy' (shown here) or 'Roc d'Or' with colorful golden pods. One note: Purple-podded beans don't tend to hold their color when cooked.
Eggplants appeal to the eyes, even if they don't do much for your taste buds. The common types feature purple fruits—from black to the palest lavender. But look around and you can find varieties with green, orange, or red fruits, too. Watch for 'Fairy Tale', an award-winning selection with purple fruits striped white or pink 'Rosa Bianca'. By the way: Don't overlook eggplant's beautiful purple flowers, too!
Frost-tolerant kale is a good plant to end the vegetable-garden season, especially when you grow purple-flushed 'Chidori Red' or ruffled purple 'Redbor'. Tuck them in your fall containers with mums for a delicious, beautiful show.
Radishes offer a stunning variety of colors, shapes, and tastes. Try white-tipped 'French Breakfast' red radishes, go dark with black 'Nero Tondo', or inside out with 'Red Meat', which features magenta-pink centers and creamy-pink skin.
There'd be no gumbo without okra. Decorate your garden with a few okra plants, even if you don't eat them. Types such as 'Red Burgundy' bear ruby tones along with their beautiful apricot-yellow hibiscus-shape flowers.
Many gardeners aren't familiar with kohlrabi, a member of the cabbage family that develops a thick, delicious bulb-like stem. Even fewer know 'Kohlibri', a selection with rich purple skin and beautiful blue-green leaves.