(A) Imperial Star artichoke
(B) Rainbow chard
(C) Bianca Riccia chicory
(D) Purple Ruffles basil
(E) Serrano Hot pepper
Designed by Ellen Ecker Ogden for the Elevated Cedar Raised Bed (4'x 4')
When I consider what to grow in my kitchen garden, it usually comes down to two things: what I can't buy in the market, and what will produce the best flavor. As a cook and a gardener, I look for a range of color, texture and culinary purpose. In this garden, you'll find some of my favorite varieties.
A single artichoke in the center adds height and visual interest, surrounded by the purple basil, which contrasts nicely with the silvery-gray artichoke leaves. Rainbow chard anchors the ends with an upright posture, flanked by chicory, a salad green that can handle the summer sun. For a bit of flair, hot peppers offer a wild element. Another option: replace the peppers with miniature eggplant.
This design introduces plants that have a relatively long season, to ensure good color and productivity. Accent this garden with trailing nasturtiums and dark sweet potato vine, tucked into the edges so the vines can spill over the sides.
For complete details on this plan — and a design for a 4' x 4' bed, read the article, Planting Plans for the Elevated Cedar Raised Beds.