Saturday, October 4, 2014

Gardening Into Fall... Ornamental Kale

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Until this morning, mild temperatures have been the order of the day here in Georgia and it has been difficult to get into a Fall mood.  Thus far my front yard, as well as my cooking, have been in transition mode waiting for cooler weather to get into the swing of Autumn decorating.  Most of the materials I use are in a room in the basement and you know what is happening down there...les appartements prives de Madame Mere, or the never ending story.

I am so sick of this remodeling that it will be hard for me to enjoy it once the contractor and his crew leave the house.  Suffice it to say they were supposed to be finished by September 1, but the painting and the wood floors are still to be done. I can't even think of what it will be like to go back to normal...whatever normal is.

One of the benefits of the setback has been looking for inexpensive things to transition into the pumpkins while keeping some of the annuals that are still doing well.  Take the geraniums...they just won't quit.  Same with the dahlias.  Enter ornamental kale and cabbage.

I  have never used either so, with guidance from one of the staff at the local nursery, I picked up three kales and one cabbage.  Originally they we intended to go in the ground but there was still too much going on there so I decided to use an urn and  keep it simple,  That way I could move it around come Christmas time.   The kale will turn a deep fuchsia in the winter and the cabbage white in the center. At some point I will have to think of something to replace the white mum I added to the back of the urn. That is, if these things do what they are supposed to do and don't die on me!

It's a shame to replace the white geraniums.  They keep throwing new buds.  If they don't stop soon I will just have to delegate them to the back.

I have never bought this color of chrysanthemum before.  They have turned out much lighter than I thought and I can't wait for them to go away.  They were $10 for the four of them at Costco.  I can't do my favorite burgundy mums unless I pair them with another color so they stand out against the brick and the mulch.  

There's a pot of burgundy mums in the back waiting to be paired with some pumpkins once the pink mums go away.  It's been so dry recently the sprinklers have been going on every day and the walkway is a mess.  It needs another good power wash before someone slips and we lose our house!

As I finish this post, it is cool enough to snuggle with the Sous Chef under my down comforter.  Here comes Fall!


  1. Your ornamental kale & cabbage are so pretty and you're smart to have placed them in planters. Past experience tells me bunnies will eat both of them. Snuggle close - it is 32 here this morning. Crazy, it will be 80 by Wednesday. Take care.

    1. I woke up late so I missed the am 30's but it's 48 now. We just turned on the heat ! I see we are back to low 80's mid week so I guess the pink mums get to live another week. Crazy...

  2. I love the look of ornamental cabbages, as well as the implied humor--they certainly refute Lewis Carroll's logic in the phrase "cabbages and kings". By the way, we used to use dilute bleach to remove algae from walks, with no apparent damage either to stone or plants. There are also commercial products for this; either might be quicker and less expensive then power washing.

    1. Yes! I think my daughter used the bleach or one of those products last year and they work great. This year we are "going all out" and power washing the house too. It really needs it, this is Georgia after all. I have never seen so many bugs and spiders in my should see the size of the spiders...they are scarrier than the snakes!

  3. Well, I'm catching up on a week's worth of reading and here I am viewing the most gorgeous autumnal container arrangement. What a fabulous composition of form and color! I love how the greens and purples are framed by the black urn.

    I had hoped for cooler weather where we live also, but Indian summer has arrived so for the next two weeks, we shall swelter before the true autumn weather sets in. I cannot wait.

  4. Love love love your new container! I was never a big fan or ornamental kale, but seeing it all over Pinterest, blogs etc. I've come to like it..
    Luckily a neighbor watered my gardens all week: not a drop of rain until last night as we were landing at RDU amidst huge thunderstorms. Lots to do in the garden this weekend….
    How is the sous-chef doing? I'll write you very soon, ok?

  5. Very cool post and beautiful garden! Thanks for sharing!


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