Already the catalogues are touting seeds for fall vegetables, and it's amazing to see the beauty of some varieties. You really wouldn't mind showing off these cabbages and kales in your front garden or container. They're as ornamental as any perennial and then some.
The place to see such vegetable beauty in real time is Chanticleer in Wayne, where I chatted with Doug Croft the other day. Doug is one of seven horticulturists at Chanticleer, and he's in charge of the vegetable and cutting gardens. There's always something really interesting going on in his gardens. This year, Doug and another gardener refinished a stunning wooden bench that's placed inside the fence, so you can sit and admire the frilly purple kale, among other delights.
Of course, this is where your nongardening friends roll their eyes. They probably can't imagine doing such a thing on purpose ... only if someone tied you up and made you look. But we know better, and our under-control blood pressure proves it. There's so much to see in a vegetable garden!
Like this fennel, which I had to take a picture of. If you aren't Italian, I was told not long ago by an Italian friend, you missed something delicious in your childhood. I'm trying to make up for it. Last year I grew fennel for the first time.