Kale, mustard and collards

 

 

On Gardening: The brassicas are taking center stage along with kale, mustard, and collards too

By Norman Winter

Tribune News Service

The brassicas are taking center stage!

In the fall and winter season, we have always dabbled in flowering kale and cabbage, but it seems in the last couple of years things are changing. The cruciferous crops are doing their part to create the WOW factor in flower beds across Georgia. It’s not just flowering kale and cabbage but edibles like the Toscano kale and would you believe that old southern favorite collards.

Last year, anyone who went to the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport could not help but notice the monolithic blue-green leaves not only serving as the backdrop to the pansies and snapdragons, but the enormity of the leaves created their own photo-worthy moment. This year, I am seeing collards used elegantly in mixed containers and even baskets. Why not? You couldn’t ask for a better companion to the colorful pansies. When I took the photo I was thinking now I need catfish and cornbread.

While collards are really old fashioned, the application with ornamentals is new and trendy, at least in several generations. Toscano kale also called Toscana, Tuscan, Lacinato and Dinosaur kale is similar. Culinary experts know it is among the most flavorful and treasured in Italian soups and stews but recently new to the flower garden. So you can rejoice for incredible beauty and texture, but if you fancy yourself a chef, then the edible landscape is close at hand.

Read the full story: St. Augustine

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.