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Lake Effect’s Joy Powers chats with Venice Williams, the executive director of Alice’s Garden and the Fondy Food Center, about gardening, herbal remedies and healthy cooking.

Dig In!: Adding more purple to the garden

Beautiful flowering purple plant
Stock Adobe
Beautiful flowering purple plant

The spring colors are finally starting to appear. Looking through Milwaukee, you’ll see green grass, yellow buds, and a lot of purple. Some of our earliest blooms here in Milwaukee are crocuses and forget-me-nots, and if you head to Alice’s Garden, you’ll see plenty of purple starting to appear.

That’s because it’s Venice Williams’ favorite color. Williams joins us every month for our series Dig In! Where we explore all things gardening and healthy cooking. She shares some tips on how to add more purple to the garden.

"Anyone who knows me well knows that I love the color purple. I am not sure where that originated from, but I have loved the color purple for most of my life," says Williams.

In addition to the commonly known eggplant, Williams suggests adding some other purple vegetables to the garden, like purple cauliflower, burgundy broccoli, and purple majesty potatoes. Specifically, Williams recommends the purple of Sicily cauliflower because it's easy to grow. For purple flowers, Williams lists deep purple zinnias, purple cosmos, and purple emperor trailing nasturtium, which can double as herbs and can be used to make salads and dressings.

For more gardening content, Williams also recommends reading "Indigo Blume and the Garden City" by Kwame Alexander and "The Cutting Garden: Growing and Arranging Garden Flowers" by Sarah Alexander.


Joy is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.
Rob is All Things Considered Host and Digital Producer.
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