Garden tips: Use ornamental kale for colour in fall, winter

Most seed sources listing flowering kale underneath two classes: bedding and patio container sorts, and reduce flower sorts
Dear Helen: I used to be just lately given a reduce flower association with an odd merchandise that regarded like a elaborate cabbage. Can you determine it from the photograph I’ve despatched?


It’s an ornamental (flowering) kale. Among the seed sources I’m acquainted with, most listing flowering kale underneath two classes — bedding and patio container sorts, and reduce flower sorts. William Dam Seeds lists a full web page of sorts.

The bedding and container sorts are generally discovered in backyard centres in the autumn. The transplants are used in pots and planters for fall and winter curiosity.

I feel your flowering kale is the ‘Bicolor’ in the Crane Series of reduce flower kale varieties. Stokes Seeds lists it. Type “Stokes Seeds + Crane Bicolor flowering kale” right into a search engine to see a photograph of it. Bicolor is described as a long-lasting reduce flower with sturdy stems.

Dear Helen: I used to be in your column final month concerning the perfume of the Provence lavender in your backyard. Are there vital variations in perfume depth amongst lavender varieties and is Provence probably the most strongly scented?


Among the 5 lavender varieties in my backyard, Provence has the strongest, sweetest scent, however an evaluation of lavender perfume energy and high quality will fluctuate with people.

Provence does prime among the lists I’ve discovered that charge perfume in lavenders. Grosso is normally given a great ranking too, although Richers, a significant Canadian supply of herb seeds and crops, notes that the variability Gros Bleu has a sweeter scent than Grosso in addition to a deeper purple colour. The catalogue describes Gros Bleu as “quckly turning into a normal in the Pacific Northwest.”

Sachet, an English lavender from Oregon, is described as having a “robust, heady aroma.” SuperBlue, from Holland, had a compact mounding behavior. “As the flowers seem in midsummer the robust scent fills the air far and broad.”

Dear Helen: I used to be alarmed by an article I learn final month about this yr’s huge rat downside — one brought on, in line with the article, primarily by gardens, compost, chicken feeders and unsecured trash. I dwell in a reasonably “ratty” neighbourhood, the place I’ve a backyard that features compost heaps that I might relatively not really feel responsible about. Do gardens and compost websites inevitably appeal to rats?


Not in my expertise, and I develop an abundance of vegetables and fruit and run 5 open compost enclosures. Close neighbours have had rat issues.

In compost heaps, rats are attracted by meals waste — vegetable and fruit trimmings produced in kitchens. These supplies shouldn’t be added to compost. Instead, bury them in backyard areas, with not less than a 20-cm soil cowl, the place extra moisture retention and natural matter is required.

The solely time I encountered a rat in a nook of a compost heap was after an eye fixed surgical procedure that, for a short time, made it uncomfortable to dig correct holes for the kitchen vegetative waste. I had put one pailful right into a slight indentation made in a compost pile and coated it over evenly.

In gardens, an abundance of candy fruits like peaches, pears and berries can appeal to rats. As quickly as an issue arises, discover a solution to make the ripening fruits and berries inaccessible to the rodents. Use wire cages if needed.

The tops of carrots uncovered above the soil line are generally nibbled by rats in winter. Keep carrots effectively coated with soil and mulches (leaves, straw) for the winter.

Dear Helen: In the previous couple of years, a small rose bush rising up towards the home has bloomed all winter. My daughter purchased it a few years in the past. The flowers are pale yellow. Should I be eradicating its leaves for the winter whereas it blooms? The plant did have some black spot this yr.


While the plant is flowering, I’d depart it alone besides for a common cleanup. First, take away the leaves with black spot. Then clear the bottom underneath and across the bush.

In late winter or very early spring, as new progress buds start to swell on the plant, take away the remainder of the leaves together with useless flowers. Trim the plant to a desired form and skinny the stems, leaving the strongest, sufficient to alleviate congestion. Clean the bottom effectively once more and apply a nourishing compost mulch layer underneath and across the rose.

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