Trailing foliage and flowers are equally paramount to designing mixed baskets and containers in the cool season. Throughout the Old Town community in Columbus, Georgia, container gardens make colorful statements.
The Brassicas are taking center stage! In the fall and winter seasons, we have always dabbled in flowering kale and cabbage, but it seems in the last couple of years that 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 on display, but edibles like the Toscano kale and – would you believe it – that old, Southern favorite, collards.
Mention fall-blooming camellias and the first thought is most likely the sasanqua camellia. There are many camellia varieties and each has the ability to provide the bones or evergreen structure needed in the home landscape.
Mari-mums are large-flower marigolds, known botanically as Tagetes erecta, that are reminiscent of chrysanthemums. Many of them really look like the old-fashioned homecoming mums of the ‘50s and ‘60s, only smaller.
After a hurricane, you find beauty and pleasure in simple things. In my case, it is the old-fashioned zinnia. Now I say “old-fashioned” because we grew them from generic seed packets, so I don’t know the variety. I would say it is the zinnia you grew up with as a kid.
When I moved into my new house about this time last year, I was quick to notice my neighbor’s flowers across the street. I could see drifts of wonderful, tall, blue flowers coupled with the complementary orange of swirling Gulf fritillary butterflies. I knew immediately that my neighbor was a real gardener, as those showy blooms could be identified as the native blue mistflower known botanically as Conoclinium coelestinum.
Hurricane Hermine was a tropical storm by the time it reached Savannah, Georgia. While it left a wake of plant destruction, it also brought blooms by the dozens. The storm hit on Friday, and by Tuesday morning, when we returned to the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm after the Labor Day holiday, we were welcomed by rain lilies.
Growing cape plumbago is like having your own ticket to the butterfly wild kingdom. Not only will you be the proprietor of the daily nectar café, but depending on where you live, you will also celebrate young ones, as this is a host plant for the cassius blue butterfly.