I know that it’s too late for this year, but it’s such a stunning color that I thought it was a good excuse to show you this picture as described in the article by Greg Stack from Gardener’s Corner. Greg suggests that we should plant the ornamental cabbage and kale for autumn color rather than just sticking to the traditional mums. In a way this could be seen as a return to the cottage garden style which often planted flowers and vegetables in the same bed.
The summer growing season has not been kind to gardens, noted a University of Illinois Extension horticulturist, Greg Stack.
“Hot temperatures, dry soils, pots that needed watering two or three times a day and flowers that just did not look their best,” said Stack describing the season. ” Would you look your best if you had to put up with the wilting heat of 2012? Well, maybe there is time to recover and get back some color into the garden with some cool color.”
While most gardeners think of mums as the flower of choice for fall garden color, there are perhaps some better candidates at the garden center. Not only will these alternatives provide interesting and dependable color, they have the ability to take that color well past fall and into early winter.
“Think foliage. Think cabbage. Think kale,” he said. “Ornamental cabbage and kale not only provide bright vibrant color, they like it cool, even very cold.”
Ornamental cabbages and kales produce foliage that comes in shades of magenta, purple, red, rose, green and cream color. They are great accent plants for the garden and also work well in containers by themselves or mixed with other plants.