When I first started growing vegetables, I worried the veggie plot would look too utilitarian, with its lined up rows and its pedestrian supports. Imagine my surprise when I woke up one morning to a tapestry of egg yolk colored trumpets, larger than my hand, which gleamed in the morning sunlight like a sea of smiles. I don’t like squash that much, but I wouldn’t miss out on its blossoms.

So, who are the beauties of the vegetable garden?

The pole beans, whose exquisite flowers can rival those of sweet peas, defy their humble lineage. Beans, as the fairy tale points out, can cover an entire trellis in a couple of weeks and will grow as long as their supports allow.

If you want a genuine treat both for your eye and for your palate, plant Trionfo Violetto pole beans or Painted Lady Runner beans.

Sadly, the latter are very stringy, but if you allow them to ripen in the shell, they are excellent dried and beautiful to boot, covered as they are in a white and dark purple cow pattern.

Next come the squashes and the pumpkins, whose male flowers only last a few hours, but which bloom so much you’ll have bright yellow splotches throughout the garden all summer long.

Sweet potatoes and eggplants have gorgeous flowers, as do turnips and carrots. Some varieties of cardoons are used as bedding plants and their edible counterparts are just as beautiful.

If you have never seen onion flowers, they look very much like drumstick alliums, only a little less colorful and a lot more edible: large globes of white or purple flowers that beautify the garden for a whole month.

Don’t forget to plant strawberries. I didn’t know how beautiful their pink flowers were; I guess I never paid attention to them before they bore fruit.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"; "The Blue Rose Manuscript"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.