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Decorative vegetables: seven seeds to sow for their visual and culinary appeal

Decorative vegetables: seven seeds to sow for their visual and culinary appeal

Seasonal flowers can be used in conjunction with fruits and vegetables that are in season to create uncommon centrepieces and decorations. If you think of a Mediterranean inspired table setting, you can’t imagine it without lemons effortlessly scattered across layers of greenery and Bougainvillea. It’s a simple and striking combination that offers a visually stunning display. Using vegetables to create centrepieces and event decorations offers a countryside charm that is perfectly suited to South Africa’s rich agricultural heritage. 

The beauty of using vegetables does not lie only in scattering them onto your surface, but really getting your creative juices flowing with how to display them in the most visually appealing way. They aren’t just delicious for eating, they’re extremely versatile too, and are tasteful decorations. Here we suggest a few options you can consider growing and using for displays and arrangements. 


Mature artichokes bloom into one of the most gorgeous flowers in the garden. With its geometric shape and luminous purple tufts, it makes a grand addition to tablescapes. Not only as a culinary delight, but also as cut stems placed in antique vessels. 

Top tip

You can make use of fresh artichoke blooms or allow them to dry for a truly rustic look and place them in garlic gourd baskets for on and off the table decoration. 

When to sow: spring / summer


Over a decade ago, a bouquet of carrots was an amusing yet visually arresting sight in the 2011 film, No Strings Attached. Thanks to Pinterest and the likes, it is a charming arrangement when nestled amongst seasonal yellow and white blooms. 

Top tip

The perfect timing to make use of this display would be around April when it’s Easter.

When to sow: all year 

Curly Kale

Food can be foliage! Curly kale is highly nutritious and dually decorative. Use it as a fabulous filler and pair it with seasonal blooms in vintage or glass vessels for unusually attractive centrepieces. 

When to sow: spring / late summer or autumn / early winter

Heritage Corn

Dried corn cobs are a stunning material to work with. Linda’s Original Seeds Heritage Corn has pretty colours that offer their own unique charm. It is the perfect fuss-free decor item that can be used as a centrepiece or to create dried hanging arrangements. 

Top tip

Spray paint the cob in a metallic colour for a really eye-catching display, leaving the leaves natural. This creates a stunning contrast.

When to sow: spring / summer

Bronze Fennel

Fennel is a medicinal plant that is used for adding flavour to the most comforting of dishes. Furthermore, it is ornamental and offers stunning foliage that can easily double up as decoration.

Top tip

Allow your fennel leaves to dry out and use it as a filler with other dried and fresh flowers for a perfectly autumnal floral arrangement. 

When to sow: spring / summer


Radishes make for radiant displays with their ravishing ruby colour. They are perfectly paired with seasonal blooms or used on their own, rootside down in a clear vase. 

When to sow: all year round


Aubergine is the foundation of a delectable melanzane and a brilliant addition to an Italian-inspired tablescape. Whether hung from wire with ornamental grasses to create stunning arches or positioning it on basket trays next to bunnies tail in clay vases, their dark tone offers a bold contrast to minimalist decor and table setting.

When to sow: spring / summer

With these glorious vegetable and herb seeds, you can grow for eating and use dually as decoration, you’ll find that your abundant harvest does offer more than just nutritional value. 

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