Up until recently I'd never been the kind of gardener who thought of vegetables as beautiful. Sure, I believe that vegetable gardens as a whole can be beautiful, but taken individually the plants in vegetable gardens never struck me as beautiful. Does it even matter if your vegetables, fruits and herbs are beautiful? Don't they all end up looking the same after they've served their purpose? When I knew I would be growing petunia 'Black Cat' in my container garden this year I went in search of other things, primarily vegetables and herbs, I could grow around it that would compliment the dark hues of 'Black Cat.' Lettuce 'Sea of Red' is one of those vegetables with style.
'Sea of Red' actually gets a lot bigger than this photo would indicate, but I've been growing it as salad greens. Throughout the summer I've added it to sandwiches and sprinkling some into salads to give them some color. Yes, this lettuce has been grown throughout summer in my full sun container garden. I've provided it some shade by growing it in a small pot that I nestle below larger potted plants to help it endure the heat. Being a cut and come again lettuce variety after harvesting you can get more leaves from the same plant. I cut some leaves and let the plant recuperate and send out new leaves. The leaves start out green, turning a nice red color, but when exposed to full sun they develop this rich mahogany color. The more sun the plant receives the darker the leaves get; making it more interesting to look at in your salad mix. The seeds for 'Sea of Red' came from ReneesGarden as part of samples for garden writers and were provided for free. Although, now that I've grown this lettuce and know that it can survive the hot summer in my container garden I'll have to purchase more seeds to grow next year.