Pender Gardener

Plant Flowers and Veggies for Winter Color

Pansies bloom all winter, with flowers that are both edible and ornamental!

Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 03:24 PM.

Plant Flowers and Veggies for Winter Color

You will find more than just pansies awaiting your landscape at garden centers this autumn! As the exciting trend of cool season gardening grows, more and more winter hardy annuals are making their way into local nurseries. Winter hardy annuals are plants like pansies that are planted in fall to grow during the cool part of the year, providing color through the winter and early spring. Many of these plants are both ornamental and edible and can be planted in landscapes as well as gardens. 


Veggies Go Mainstream!

The biggest development in winter annuals over the last few years has been the use of vegetables as ornamental plants. Low growing ornamental cabbages and kales, with green leaves splashed in purple, rose or white have been popular for several years. They are gorgeous in fall and early winter, but can start to look ragged by February. If you’re looking for something a little more durable and taller try Red Russian or Redbor kale.

These two varieties grow to three feet tall and two feet wide and are equally at home in the vegetable garden or flower border. Red Russian is a delicious heirloom variety that sports feathery, jagged-edged blue green leaves and rosy-purple stems and midribs. For even more drama, seek out Redbor with spectacular dark purple, frilly-edged leaves. Both of these varieties look good through April, at which time they produce spikes of yellow flowers that are great for attracting beneficial insects.


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