When seeds were chosen to start in the greenhouse this year there was one standout from last season at the top of the list.Redbor Kale, Brassica oleracea ‘Redbor’, has been growing in the garden since fall of 2007. At that time seeds were sprinkled over a container planted with bulbs as a late December birthday gift for offspring of offspring Chickenpoet, G.A. Sown too thickly it was soon learned when they sprouted thick as grass in the pot, extras were scooped up and planted around and about since we cannot bear to toss perfectly healthy plants. Places were found for them but winter was almost upon us so there was little hope for their survival. Surprising toughness was shown by this particular specimen, the sole survivor of that group. Planted along the edge of the black garden in full sun, the correct spot, it has done well and brought us much joy as it darkens in the cold temps to a purplish glaucous hue. This type of kale is edible, high in iron and vitamins A and C, but is used mostly as a garnish. We grow it as an ornamental. Our seeds were purchased online from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Click here for the link to their Redbor Kale page. We want to add a few more of these to blacken the black garden’s design. This year the seeds sprang right up out of the seed starting mix with the help of the heat mat. A few leaves have been tossed into salads to add to the nutritional value and keep the plants smaller until it is warm enough to harden them off some more. A few days under the cold frame made from lumber and an old glass shower door helped darken the color. Recent cold required the tray to be brought back inside the greenhouse for a while longer.There are some new things growing since I last showed you the greenhouse/sunroom. Sweet peas, Fragrantissima, were started indoors for the first time ever. The vines are reaching for the sky at an alarming rate. Can anyone advise when these can go in the ground? Surely we don’t have to wait until after the last frost date. The greenhouse will be covered in vining peas by then. Entrance will be barred by brazen stems blocking the door.The lettuces Revolution and Dazzle continue to feed us.Malva sylvestris ‘Mystic Merlin’ has round leaves with pretty scalloped edging. Bright Yellow swiss chard (formerly labeled Golden Lights in error) and Amarathus paniculatus ‘Autumn Palette’ are soaking up the rays in preparation for hardening off on the deck soon.Salvia sclaraea ‘Turkestanica’ is growing larger and hairier by the day. The much smaller Salvia nemorosa ‘Rosenwein’ can be seen beside its giant cousin.Outdoors the sun continues to climb higher on the horizon. The Stipa tenuissima is illuminated by the morning light in a way not seen in the dead of winter. The garden is waking up slowly. Barely above freezing with a strong north wind blowing, the conditions are not hospitable to baby plants just yet. But change is in the light. It can be felt when those beams graze our limbs through layers of moisture wicking material. It won’t be long until the denizens of the greenhouse can be free to live long and prosper in the high wattage of natural sunlight.
*Offshoot from a previous post titled ‘I Call Your Name’. Details can be found by clicking here.
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. Since 2000 I have been gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about this USDA Zone 7a garden since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Visit The Hop Ice Cream Cafe When In Asheville, NC
640 Merrimon Ave.
or The Hop West
721 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina
Older Posts Of Interest:
The story of the day a throng of cedar waxwings descended upon the garden, shown in the header image. (2009)
An awkward title that explains about making those very tall asters, mums and others shorter by cutting them down by half in May. Now is the time! (2011)
A book inspires the growing of lilies from seed. (2009)
How ten lily bulbs became hundreds. (2010)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
A history of all of the faire gardens and a couple of choice tidbits about me. (2009)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
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