“Winter blues are cured every time with a potato gratin paired with a roast chicken.” –Alexandra Guarnaschelli
Mama will surely comment about the above menu, ” I raised you better than that. Where are the greens?” Appease Mama and add Savoy cabbage to the table. A milder form of cabbage than the familiar green cabbage, Savoy will add sassiness to the plate-just cook the roughly chopped leaves in a little olive oil, with onions and peppers. As Savoy is not a common find in the produce section, plan on adding a few plants to the winter garden. Now you’re cooking!
Learn more about Savoy cabbage at the following links. Wikipedia
Swiss chard, a member of the beet family, is a highly nutritious leafy vegetable, very high in vitamins A, K and C. Grown in zone 8 as a cool season vegetable, chard is also a colorful, vibrant addition to winter gardens. The above picture of the variety, Bright Lights, highlights the red, yellow and orange stems that support rich green leaves-double bonus for Mobile gardens. Find more information at the links below.
A pansy blossom is more than a pretty face. Blossoms can add interest and surprise to a salad on one’s table as well as adding color to a winter bed or garden container. Thriving in the Mobile winter landscape, these annuals can be purchased in a variety of colors at local garden centers. Learn more at the following link.
While many gardens in the United States are covered in snow, Gulf Coast gardens display a variety of flowers including the pinked blossoms of dianthus. Loving full sun and part shade, dianthus brighten the landscape from October till spring. Learn more about these winter bloomers at the following site. Dianthus
Gardeners with itchy green thumbs may still find splashy ornamental kale and cabbage available in garden centers. These sun lovers are perfect for Mobile winters, so scratch that itch and fill a border or large container with these cold-loving annuals. Learn more at the following links.
Through the generosity of the Gulf Coast RC&D Council, the KMB outreach program will have more opportunities to address its mission of motivating Mobilians to take greater individual responsibility in their community environment. The $9,030 grant award will be used to support campus beautification, school recycling, school presentations, and community interactions and cleanup activities. An example of GCRC&D support can be found in the December blog postings. GCRC&D funding made it possible for the illustrations to be made into posters for use in presentations and interactions.
Due to GCRC&D support, KMB outreach coordinator, Phyllis Wingard, will conduct a teacher workshop on January 30, 2020, at the Jon Archer Agricultural Center to apprise schools of $500 campus beautification grants available to schools in Mobile County. Information concerning the workshop is being sent to school principals. Thank you to Gulf Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council for helping to make Mobile County a greener, cleaner and more beautiful place to live.
Learn more about the Gulf Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council at the following link. GCRC&D
“Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.”
― Clare Ansberry, The Women of Troy Hill: The Back-Fence Virtues of Faith and Friendship
Camellia sasanqua, a traditonal favorite in southern gardens, is wearing her finest in December. Bellingrath Gardens, nestled on the banks of Fowl River, is ready to show off these exotic beauties in their finery. Take time to stroll the walkways with friends and partake of the delicate blossoms gracing the landscape. You will not be disappointed!
Fall, not spring, is the time in this region to clear away dead leaves and branches, to renovate the borders, to start new gardens…. And even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence, A Southern Garden
While the leaves may be turning in some southern gardens, Mobile gardens still have an abundance of flowers to enjoy. In the photo, the large blue flower is plumbago or Plumbago auriculate, while the smaller one, is pigeon berry or Duranta erecta. Both attract a plethora of pollinators. However, pigeon berry may not be suitable for all gardens as the small yellow fruit is toxic.
Click on the following links to learn more about these perennials.
The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before ~ Vita Sackville-West, 1892 – 1962
Baccharis halimifolia, known as saltbush, groundsel, or sea myrtle is a common sight along salt marshes and wetlands in Mobile. A long-lived, salt tolerant perennial, this native woody shrub grows in full sun to light shade, reaching heights of 7-15 feet and widths 5 to 7 feet. Plants produce clouds of creamy white flowers in the fall, providing nectar for migrating Monarch butterflies. While not a commonly planted species, specimens can be used to form screens and buffers, and can be pruned to suitable heights. Learn more about this member of the daisy family at the following links.