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Tag Archives: Dallas Arboretum

Giant Red Mustard, Ornamental and Edible

The Dallas Arboretum chose Giant Red Mustard as a signature plant this year. It’s an ideal choice because it fits in with the aesthetics of the garden and the mantra of the Arboretum’s edible landscape, called A Tasteful Place. You see, Giant Red Mustard is an ornamental edible mustard.

The  maroon leaves blended perfectly with plantings of lorapetalum and palms, pansies and cardoon at the entrance to the Arboretum.

All over the grounds, pots were planted with the mustard as an accent. This planting below was especially beautiful with the sabal palm fronds framing it and the frilly chartreuse leaves of Mustard “Mizuna” at the base.

In the Arboretum’s edible garden, a long lane of mustard led your eye to the Dallas skyline. Do you see some of our downtown buildings in the distance?

It wouldn’t have been right to taste the leaves while strolling through the Arboretum; but now that I have bought some of these plants for my garden, I can vouch for their spicy taste.

Here is what Park Seeds says about this Giant Red Mustard:

“At last, a Mustard Green so showy it just may do for this nutritious family what Bright Lights did for Swiss Chard — put it in every garden and on every table of gardeners who love bold colors and fresh flavor in their veggies! Red Giant is a brilliant maroon with deep green midribs, so showy you may just have to plant two crops — one in the veggie patch and one along the walkway or in your annual border!

These leaves are slightly textured for a better bite and good holding power. The flavor is zesty and full, with a good bite that you just can’t find in store-bought mustard greens. Imagine Red Giant flanking your Pansies and cheery Mums in the fall garden, or nestling beside bold Ornamental Cabbage and Kale. Or put it in bright containers for an unforgettable patio or porch display!

And because you pick this mustard leaf by leaf for eating (instead of uprooting the entire plant, as you do for head lettuce), you can enjoy the fine display of color for many weeks! Frost just improves the flavor and color.

Sow seed outdoors in early spring or, for fall crops, 6 to 8 weeks before first fall frost. Space seedlings 1 to 2 inches apart in rows 15 inches apart.”

Giant Red Mustard will be in my garden next year. Will it be in yours?

Ann Lamb

Read about Raincatcher’s edible landscape:

Edible Landscaping, Here’s What You Plant

Orphaned No More-Our Incredible Edible Landscape Project

Learning To Plant Outside The Lines

and don’t forget to plan a trip to the Arboretum for Dallas Blooms February 29-April 12, 2020.

Dallas County Master Gardeners and Japanese Maples

Everyone loves Japanese Maples! Dallas County Master Gardeners were able to learn about them from expert, Scott Hubble, at our September meeting last week.

Scott works at Metro Maples in Fort Worth  and shared a wealth of information about these trees which come in all shapes, sizes and many colors.

Our Texas sun is the most important factor to consider when picking a location for a Japanese Maple. Morning sun with shade in the afternoon is generally perfect.

Japanese Maples are well situated when they are under the canopy of larger trees receiving dappled light throughout the day.

Remember they do not like soggy roots so plant them in areas with drainage.

No more words, let’s gaze at these beauties.

Look carefully inside this Japanese Maple to see homeowner’s mailbox. This  25-30 year old tree grew around the mailbox.

Thank you Metro Maples for the presentation and pictures.

Ann Lamb

All Master Gardener meetings are  held the 4th Thursday of the month at varying locations are open to the public.

Tool Time and education for all Thursday, October 3rd at 10am at The Raincatcher’s Garden. Click here for details.

Don’t forget to visit the Red Maple Rill at the Dallas Arboretum with over 80 varieties of signature Red Maples.

 

Vitex agnus castus

The beautiful  blue blooms of the Vitex tree are swaying in our summer breezes.

Vitex or Chaste Tree

Yesterday I visited the Dallas Arboretum and took a walk  under a lane of  fragrant Vitex aka Chaste Tree located at the back of the garden along the shores of White Rock Lake.   The snarly branches of  blue blooming Vitex  with the  yellow St John’s Wort planted at its feet almost made me swoon!Vitex Trees at the Dallas Arboreteum

Once established, Vitex is a drought tolerant tree and delight to bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.   Shear it back after every bloom cycle to keep up the maximum flowering production  By doing this, you can get three bloom periods every summer. Texas A&M agrees!

It will also need a good shaping in winter months.  Some gardeners  cut it to the ground every year to keep it shrub size. At our garden  we have let it  grow into a 15 foot tree.

*Here are some different ways to use chaste tree in the landscape:

1. As a single specimen in the lawn (See ours at The Demonstration Garden)

2. In a row along a property line or a driveway

3. Limbed-up in a border with lower plants growing beneath it (As seen at The Dallas Arboretum)

4. As a small patio tree ( I have also seen it grown as a topiary)

Ann

*List adapted from Grumpy Gardener of Southern Living

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