Cabbage Batch

Credit: istock

For a long-lasting fall display to follow worn-out summer annuals, plant ornamental cabbage and kale. Classified as Brassica oleracea (the same as edible cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower) and usually hardy to zone 3, they complement fall-blooming chrysanthemums and pansies. In a sunny location with moderately moist, rich soil, these plants will keep going and improving as the weather gets cooler. Although a sudden cold snap can be deadly, light and moderate frosts will intensify the brilliant colouring, showing off hues ranging from white to pinks, purples or reds. When purchasing, look for a plant with a short rosette-type stem. Rootbound plants are unlikely to get much larger once planted, so buy the biggest plants you can find and wait for the show to begin!

– Sally Spires