Vegetable Garden

Purple Themed Vegetable Garden – Would you do it?

December 28, 2011
Kohl Rabi

Being a lover of the colour purple, it was only a matter of time before I thought of the idea of growing a colour themed vegetable garden.

I’ve grown several types of purple veg already including purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, scarlet kale (which is purple in colour), kohl rabi and rainbow chard which includes a purple stemmed variety.

It’s unlikely that I’ll go for it this coming year but as purple varieties of most vegetables are now readily available, I may just start replacing some of my seeds with the purple varieties listed below as they run out until eventually – well who knows.

So what makes purple vegetables special apart from their glorious colour? Well for a start they contain natural pigments called anthocyanins. These act as powerful antioxidants that protect  from cell damage and are said to help lower the risk of cancer, strokes and heart disease.

According to Asparabuddies (and their furry friends) purple asparagus is the sweetest of all the varieties they’ve grown, whilst here we’ve noticed that the pests head to the green varieties of kale first, leaving the purple leaves relatively unscathed.

So here’s a list of over thirty different purple veg, including links to seed suppliers in Ireland and the UK if you’d like to give them  …

Asparagus – Purple Passion
Aubergine – Rosa Bianca
Basil – Red Ruben
Beans – Selma Zebra
Beetroot – Detroit Globe
Broccoli – Broccoli Purple Sprouting
Brussels Sprouts – Red Ball Haze
Cabbage Red Drumhead
Cauliflower Violet Queen

Carrots – Purple Haze
Chives SKU
Choy Sum Purple
Garlic Iberian Wight
Globe Artichoke – Purple Globe Artichoke
Leef Beet Bulls Blood Scarletta
Lettuce – Amorina
Kale – Red Russian
Kohl Rabi – Kolibri
Mange Tout Pea Shiraz
Mint Korean
Mustard Osaka Purple
Onions Hyred
Pak Choi  Rubi
Peppers Hot Pepper Purple
Potatoes – Purple Majesty
Radish – China Rose
Scorzionna – Giant Russian
Swede Tweed
Sweetcorn – Painted Mountain
Swiss Chard (Leaf Beat) Magenta Sunset
Tomatoes – Black Cherry Tomatoes
Turnip – Milan Purple

Do you like the idea of eating purple vegetables? Have you ever grown any? Have I missed any? I’d love to hear your thoughts…


  • Reply Mr. H. December 28, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    When given the choice between purple and green in a vegetable I usually opt for purple.:) That is a good list for a purple themed vegetable garden, the only other veggie that comes to mind is a purple tomatillo.

  • Reply Mr. H. December 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    …and we have grown Purple Podded peas too.:)

  • Reply Greenside Up December 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks Mr H, will have a look for a supplier!

  • Reply Mario December 28, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I love the idea of a color themed garden! I would do it in a heartbeat, but sadly, I don't get to make all the gardening decisions. ; )

  • Reply Jessie December 28, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I'm growing purple onions at the moment. I would love to try the tomatoes, they look so yummy!

  • Reply Greenside Up December 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I'd like to try the purple peas in the next growing season. A comment was made on twitter that purple veg usually cooks up as black in colour, tho I've not found that with my kale or chard… anyone else?

  • Reply Margaret December 29, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I love to see purple in the veg plot. Purple lettuce next to green looks great. I have grown red onions, red spring onions, red cabbage, beetroot. I tried growing purple podded climbing beans this year but they didn't do well, that might have been because of the slugs. I like your list might try more this year.

  • Reply Bridget December 30, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    As another purple lover, yes, I would go for it. Especially since I heard that purple varieties are less attractive to slugs!

  • Reply Sue@G.L. Allotments December 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Robinsons sell purple podded peas – we grew them once but I wasn't keen on the flavour.
    We grow purple French beans but these lose their colour when cooked as does the purple broccoli.
    Personally I wouldn't just grow and eat one colour vegetables as each 'colour' has a particular beneficial quality so to eat just one would be missing out!

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