In my quest to capture better shots of the Star Magnolia buds, I happened across this spectacular plant:
Ornamental Kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) is in its glory now. I’ve never grown it myself, but I’ve always been impressed with how it survives here through November, and often through December. Some gardeners in the
Deep South report that it stays colorful all winter. I am envious!
The Wisconsin Master Gardener Program reports that all “ornamental” Kales and Cabbages are really Kale. The plants don’t have much color until the temperatures plummet. The bright pigments really begin to show with frost and cold weather—producing spectacular, vivid colors below 50°F.
Once acclimated, Ornamental Kales can survive temperatures as low as 5°F. Since I haven’t grown them myself, I can’t offer much advice about how to plant and nurture Ornamental Kales. But I do know they look lovely interplanted with Pansies, Snapdragons, Mums, ornamental grasses, and other annuals and perennials that thrive in cooler weather. I really must plant some Kale next September to brighten the autumn and early winter landscape.
Meanwhile, that Star Magnolia is another spectacular specimen I’ve never tended myself, but I absolutely adore it when it blossoms in springtime. I did manage to get a few decent close-ups of those incredible fuzzy buds: