Mustard is a must-have for the winter garden because it tolerates both cold winter weather and the occasional warm snap. The Red Giant variety shown here adds color and spice to salads and, like most mustard varieties, can also be sauteed or used in baked dishes.
The landscape architects of this space explored the use of scale, shape and color to create a detailed, nuanced patio, garden and yard. The square beds containing red plants and flowers bring a sense of order, while the garden beyond feels wild and untamed; this creates a pleasing sense of balance.
Undemanding and spectacular in bloom, lifesaver plant (Huernia zebrina) opens five-pointed star shape flowers with a dark red lifesaver rim. This is a succulent, craving low water and full sun. Flowers, which measure 1.25 inches across, open intermittently throughout the year.
Whether you grow traditional orange carrots, or raise a rainbow of purple, red, white and red varieties, these crunchy, colorful veggies are fun to raise and good for you. Carrots need deep, loose soil, and when they aren’t happy in the garden, their roots become stunted, twisted or forked.
The coffee plant (Coffee arabica) makes an ideal houseplant, not needing high light to grow and flower. Plants start blooming when three years old and usually in late spring and/or summer. Flowers fade to form green cherry-looking fruit that turns red when ripe. Inside are two coffee beans. In summer, place your coffee plant outdoors, gradually exposing it to sun.
Individual blossoms on the flower spike of gas plant appear to have eyelashes, thanks to long, curling stamens. Gas plant offers a long flower season, from late spring through midsummer, and you can find varieties with blooms in shades of lavender, pink and red. Once flowers fade, seedpods form that linger into early winter and make a nice addition to autumn arrangements. Site this perennial where you want it (full sun is best), because it doesn’t transplant easily. Small seedlings tend to form around the mother plant, and those can be moved with little fuss. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 28 to 32 inches tall by 18 to 24 inches wide. Hardy in Zones 3-7. Good vase companions for gas plant: bearded iris, peony, bee balm and lady’s mantle.
Flowering plants provide attention grabbing color, especially when you choose a plant with long-lasting flowers, like anthurium. This tough-as-nails houseplant unfurls red blooms with a waxy sheen and open steadily all year long when plants receive bright light. Give the thick, leathery leaves on anthurium—or any houseplant—a sheen by spraying with a solution of ½ cup milk (skim or reduced fat) and ¾ cup water. Rub the leaves gently with a soft cloth, then dry with a clean, soft cloth. Be sure to spray both top and bottom of leaves.
Problem: Swarms or clouds of tiny white creatures fly into the air when you move your plants. Solution: You’ve got whiteflies, insects related to aphids that suck plant juices. They make a sticky substance called honeydew that can attract fungal diseases. Spray the plant with an insecticidal soap, following label directions. You’ll probably need to re-treat. Some gardeners use a homemade spray of 2 parts rubbing alcohol, 5 parts water and one tablespoon of mild liquid soap. The good news is that some houseplants, like this red Anthurium, are seldom troubled by these pests.
Every country cottage has at least one “porch plant” gotten as a start from someone else’s garden. This classic old Pelargonium, often called geranium, is tough, drought resistant, tolerates a wide range of conditions, and is easy to grow from cuttings.
Consider native red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) for a small tree that looks good through many seasons. It unfurls red flower spikes that are a hummingbird magnet. Typical chestnut-type fruits form in fall with three nuts per hull. Give red buckeye full sun in all zones, with afternoon shade in the South. It will also grow and flower in part shade. Plants need consistent moisture for healthiest leaves. Red buckeye often forms multiple trunks. Prune it to one for a more tree-like appearance. Size: 12 to 15 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.