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Grow a rainbow of colourful fruit and veg for Pride

Gardening authors Two Dirty Boys serve up a Pride platter. By Hannah Stephenson.

Hannah Stephenson
Tuesday 23 May 2023 07:30 BST
Nurture a vibrant patch that is as beautiful as it is bountiful (Alamy/PA)
Nurture a vibrant patch that is as beautiful as it is bountiful (Alamy/PA)

Growing a rainbow of fruits and vegetables in your garden or allotment is a great way to add a burst of colour to celebrate Pride month.

To mark the occasion, Robin Daly and Paul Anderton, friends with an allotment in East London – known on social media as Two Dirty Boys (@twodirtyboys) – and authors of gardening books Propagate and Regrown, reckon it’s possible to make your fruit and veg platters a rainbow of colour, using plants for their dazzling shades as well as their flavour.

They say: “The natural compounds that colour food are some of the most important nutrients in keeping us healthy, ensuring that your harvest is both delicious and nutritious.

“With a little forward planning and some clever choices, you can create a vibrant patch that is as beautiful as it is bountiful.”

Here, they serve up some suggestions to achieving a Pride rainbow of colour when you grow your own.


“Beets, radishes and tomatoes will rouge your border nicely,” says the pair. “Beet leaves will add some red to the garden as the crop matures (and can be harvested as salad leaves), and beets don’t just come in red, but also deep purples, through to oranges and yellows.

“They are packed with superfood nutrients, such as vitamin C, potassium and fibre. More visually (as beets grow mostly underground) radishes are bright red and really couldn’t be easier to grow, great if you’re getting kids interested in growing.

“Lastly, tomatoes are your red veg A-game. Cherry tomatoes are easiest and, provided you get them growing early, they’ll mature perfectly happily outside – no greenhouse needed.”


“Our pride and joy is our miniature peach tree, which gives us around 15 beautifully sweet red/orange peaches each August. Because they ripen on the tree they are insanely sweet.

Orange vegetables immediately make you think of carrots, but why not mix it up a little? Instead of orange carrots, choose a heritage type with delicious yellow or purple roots.


“Yellow, for us, would have to be sweetcorn as, when you grow it yourself, you can eat it direct from the cob, raw, and it tastes sensational.

“Eaten within an hour of picking means the sugars haven’t turned to starch, it really is mind-blowing how delicious they are.

“Corn ripens in late summer, so perhaps yellow bell peppers are a better option for summer pride platters or, for an even earlier crop a yellow variety of courgette, which are really prolific.


“Literally all vegetables have a green bit. But if you want to go more ornamental, then Swiss chard stems come in some wildly vibrant colours.”


“Blueberries are an obvious choice and people are always surprised that they grow in the UK, which they do very well. Like the peach tree, they are perennial, which means they fruit each year, so you’d need to already have your bush.

“Ours are very well tended to and very fruity, though they need an acidic and moist soil. There are purple/blue potatoes and sweetcorn, too, and the blue colour, a type of anthocyanin, is great for your blood pressure and heart, can fight cancer and increase brain function.

“We’ve had great success in our greenhouse with aubergine, to give you that deep purple hue on your platter, but if this summer is like fiery 2022 then it should be fine outside, especially if your garden is very sheltered and south-facing.”

Other colours

“To supplement your fruit and veg, we would suggest edible flowers. There are so many and they really make any vegetable plot sing with a riot of colour. Nasturtiums (red through to yellow) are so prolific and deliciously peppery.

“Violas come in a huge range of colours, while courgette flowers are yellow/orange and look fabulous on the plant as well as being delicious stuffed with Greek yogurt, deep fried and drizzled with honey.

“Whatever doesn’t ripen in time for Pride, or is savaged by snails as big as a small cat, just go out and buy – we may have done that ourselves once or twice, we won’t tell if you don’t.”

Propagate by Robin Daly & Paul Anderton is published by Hardie Grant, £12.99. Available now.

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