Edible bedding

That sounds odd, doesn't it?  I'm not talking about eating our blankets or duvets, but about using edible plants as "bedding" plants.  In this case the plants used are a herb - parsley, and a leafy vegetable - silverbeet or Swiss Chard, here the colourful form Rainbow chard.  Maybe it is because they are so easily grown, and readily available, or maybe because we saw too much of them as children (along with those dreaded words "eat your greens, they are good for you")...but it seems to be only recently that they have been used for their aesthetic qualities.  

To me the patterns made by the rich green of curly leafed parsley, at the front in this picture, are like densely textured, almost velvety, cloudscapes.  The reddish green Rainbow chard glows, especially on the overcast rainy day when I saw this bedding scheme at the entrance to the Wellington Botanical Gardens.  I am not sure of the identity of the white-flowered plant. 

Bedding plants are grown to be used en masse to provide colour or texture as part of a planting design, usually a formal pattern which is a decorative feature in a garden or park.  These were very popular with the Victorians in England, tending to be colourful and exotic displays.  Bedding schemes continue to be a feature of municipal planting, and nowadays they are often quite adventurous in the choice of plants.  

The simple blocks of colour of parsley, anonymous white flowered plant and Rainbow chard are bright and effective in the muted light of a rainy winters day, and lead the eye into the garden, towards a fountain in the distance framed by two large trees. 








If you are hungry...they are full of vitamins and goodness!




But here they are food for the eyes, and a tonic for winter blahs.