African Garden + vegetables in the flower garden

Beautiful Edibles Part III: Merlot Lettuce

I grew 'Merlot' lettuce last year in the long border with the Geraniums and Phlox and loved the results. This year, I decided to experiment and try another red lettuce for comparison. There was none. Merlot is simply the best looking lettuce around. It's such a beautiful plant, with its ruby stained-glass foliage, I leave it in the border after it bolts.

'Merlot' growing in a sea of Geranium 'Bob's Blunder'

I left the flowers on it

in hopes that it might self-sow. The flowers are attractive, but they open for such a short time during the day that, were it not for the seed experiment, I'd cut them off.

It's better as a foliage plant.

Geranium 'Bob's Blunder' and 'Merlot' lettuce are the perfect pairing, even better than last year's pairing with Geranium 'Blogold' (Blue Sunrise) (scroll down to the last image). The pink of the Geranium blooms is echoed by the veins of the lettuce.

It almost seems a shame to eat it.

But what a waste that would be, as the flavor is wonderful. It's time to sow more lettuce seeds for a fall crop of salads. They'll be sown in a pot, as I'm not ready to pull these plants out.

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Beautiful Edibles Part III: Merlot Lettuce + vegetables in the flower garden