Pullulating Parsley

Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That’s the fun of them. You’re always learning. Helen Mirren


             Flat Leaf Parsley

(The above photo was taken on January 30, 2020.)                                                  

Curly Leaf Parsley

Parsley, a biennial,  is a highly nutritious  herb providing vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin  K, and iron as well as other benefits. In addition to being a favorite addition to table fare, parsley is also a host plant for the eastern black swallowtail butterfly. When planting, include enough for the table and enough for the colorful caterpillars that will devour the leaves.

         Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillars

Learn more about parsley at the following sites.



Cruciferous Cabbage

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.”
–Anton Chekhov

Happy,  coastal gardeners are an exception to Mr. Chekhov’s observation.  They  plant according to seasonal opportunities,  with winter offering some very nutritious choices, including red cabbage.  A cultivar of the Brassica oleracea  group of plants,  this leafy vegetable is high is vitamin C and vitamin K.  In addition to adding nutritional value, red cabbage  adds crunch, color and  substance to the salad bowl.  It is  also a  member of the cruciferous vegetable group,  identified as “super veggies”.  These vegetables have earned this title due to  connections to lower cancer risks. Learn more about red cabbage  and its family members  at the following links.



Winter Winsomeness

“A garden in winter is the absolute test of the true gardener. ”   

Rosemary Verey

Brussels Sprout Plant

Brussels sprouts,  winsome additions to the winter garden,   not only produce  edible sprouts, the colorful leaves are edible as well.  Adept at hide and seek,  this member of the brassica family, is highly nutritious.  Learn more about this odd but valuable  plant at the following link.  Wikipedia 

There they are – Brussels sprout buds!


Sassy Savoy

“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

All Recipes.com

Cool Colewort

“There ought to be gardens for all months in the year, in which, severally, things of beauty may be then in season.”
– Sir Francis Bacon

                         Young collards plants waiting to be planted

Coastal gardeners, having the benefit of year round gardening,  often focus on  members of the brassica genus during the cooler months.  Turnips, mustard, cabbage, kale and collards are included in this genus. Collards, surpassing kale in nutrient value, is an old southern favorite.  Leaves can be picked as needed throughout the winter months.  Add these to your supper table with  ham, baked sweet potatoes, hot  buttered corn bread, iced tea and  sweet memories of your grandmother’s kitchen.

Click on the following Wikipedia article to learn more about collards.  Collard plant

Scintillating Chard


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.


Farmers Almanac -Swiss chard 

Burpee- Swiss chard

Gardeners’ Delights

“Regardless of geographical region or culture,  gardening is perhaps the most common and shared experience of Nature.”
― S. Kelley Harrell, Nature’s Gifts Anthology

 Ruby-throated Hummingbird Sipping Nectar From Cardinal Spear

Gardeners have their favored places; places with bins of seed and bags of Black Cow,  places with gloves for pulling and tools for digging; places where chicks are peeping and green thumbs twitching;  places with shelves and shelves of  seedlings and even more friendly advice just for the asking; places where you’re always welcomed with a smile and a “y’all come back now” when you leave. Ready to get up and go?

Here are few places to get your green thumb twitching!

St. Elmo Feed and Seed   

Bryant Career Technical Center

Bing’s Booth at the Mobile Flea Market,  401 Schillinger Road

Shore Acres Plant Farm

 Underwood Pecan Farm  – fruit trees, blueberry bushes

Special Event:  Mobile Botanical Garden Spring Plant Sale – native species


Green Thumb  Resources

Alabama Cooperative Extension Service   ANR0063   Planting Guide for Home Gardening in Alabama

Pulchritudinous Pansies

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.



Pansy Facts

Dainty Dianthus

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