Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yummy Buttery Yellow

Flowering Kale with 'Lilac Tinted Hair' German Iris

I am crazy about these buttery yellow flowers~ they're a gift from over wintering Ornamental Kale. You get this sweet soft yellow flower display when kale is allowed to bolt!

Bolt~A runaway kale plant. Really it's like that~the kale is bolting to the finish line and on the way producing sweet flowers. I love how well the soft yellow compliments the old fashioned bearded iris~affectionately named "Lilac Tinted Hair" shown in the first photo and massed in the one below~ They are named for the older lady gardeners of my youth; whose silvered hair was a little too blue and lavender. Their gardens had an abundance of grape juice fragrant purple/lilac iris that I loved dearly.

What a treat to discover them growing in the garden when we moved here over 24 years ago. They have multiplied and been shared with everyone I know! They are a major player in the spring gardens. The sword like leaves and those delicate, yet strong statement flowers are a good vertical match with the lower blooming Happy Trinity of native plants~Phlox pilosa, Senecio aureus and the airy lantern blooms of Aquilegia canadensis. There are some non-natives that must be in this garden~Iris is one of them.


Redbar Kale is another one. I've been letting the kale bolt since I noticed them budding on a forgotten plant a few years ago...The buds were beautiful with the promise of yellow in their stripes. Boy, did they deliver a sweet and uncomplicated lovely yellow flower. I fell for them! This is a flower that looks surprisingly good with many other other flowers, not just iris.

Tell me what you think about these combinations~
Kale and Costco Pink tulips~I love the pink flower and purple stems!
Deep purple violas~What a wow factor with the yellow eyes!


Cosmos scarlets and fuchsias~ The yellow is a knock out with deep pinks!

Flowering kale can shine on it's own, too.
The yellow seems to work with almost every color ~~It looks a deeper yellow juxtapositioned against its own burgundy foliage.


I like most kales, but Redbor Kale is my favorite! It's a must for the garden each fall~and is planted in the beds and containers. This Redbar was from my good friend Frances of fairegarden...A gift when Mr I'm Not A Gardener or Blogger and I visited her and The Financier last fall. It brightened up the garden all winter and has bolted in the warmer spring days to almost two foot tall. Imagine it massed with tulips, alliums and of course, with Iris 'Lilac Tinted Hair'. That's my goal next spring....



It's not just a pretty face~it feeds critters, too. This afternoon a hover fly (syrphid fly, Episyrphus balteatus,) was seen nectaring on a flower! It's a good thing I don't grow any cabbages or cabbage family members for human consumption! Cabbage Butterfly are everywhere and I would be harvesting a rich crop of cabbage worms, too!

Please, do put this plant on your list and then, let it bolt next spring.

Gail

45 comments:

  1. The yellow kale flowers are the icing on the cake for this wonderful plant dear Gail. It was a pleasure to give you this and the other things when you visited, what a great time we had. Thanks for the linkage. I love those iris too, although the spread a little too freely here to be allowed to take over the other colors of iris, which is what happens when if left unchecked. Oh to be a lilac tinted lady, how did they get that fun color on their hair? I want it! :-)
    Frances

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  2. Gail girl that was amazzing ! I have never had Kale flower .. we plant it as a Fall foliage thing here .. but those gorgeous flowers .. wow ! .. I love buttery yellow too .. soft soft fuzzy feelings from them ? LOL
    I have a double day lily called River Wye .. well it was a surprise the first year it bloomed (mislabled surprise thing ?) and I fell in love with it .. some surprises are perfect : )
    Love the post .. I am hovering in a warm fuzzy feeling now ? LOL
    Joy

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  3. I remember someone telling me that when you see the flowers of kale and cabbage, it is time to pull them up. I ignored their advice.

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  4. Frances, It's bluing agent that they put on their gray hair. It would be splendid in today's world~ gail

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  5. I accidentally let three plants go to seed once, and I was smitten. You showcased yours so well Gail. Good idea to play your focus on this plant. The flowers are lovely with the other flowers in your garden. Also, that part about the blue-haired ladies reminded me of my youth. Purple iris were everywhere here.~~Dee

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  6. Oh yes, the blue-haired ladies with perfect smooth, creamy skin when they were in their 70s. They didn't have all these fancy wrinkle creams of today, they used a cleansing cream to remove makeup and wore hats in the sun.

    Your kale yellow (pale yellow) should be added to the color strips for paints and posies.

    I don't have kale. I've just dismissed it as deer or rabbit food. Perhaps I should do a little research to see if it is on the critter menu. I could use kale yellow in my spring garden.

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  7. Maybe you'll have some reseeding happening for the fall crop! Our cilantro is bolting as we speak so I'll scatter the seed around after it's made and have cilantro coming up everywhere!

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  8. What do I think of these combinations?--They are beautiful! The first time I saw kale blooms was this past March when Beckie and I went to the Chicago Flower and Garden Show where they were featured prominently in one display. Until then, I had no idea they had such pretty blooms. I think I received some of Frances' seeds in Monica's seed swap--I must remember to plant them in the butterfly garden!

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  9. Gail, so beautiful. We had some in our community condo gardens, but just as it started to bloom they weeded. Of course they had left the other weeds to flourish all winter...

    I love the contrast, and a bit of yellow makes the garden "pop." This soft tone is perfect for sweet spring days.

    Jen

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  10. I know just the color of hair you are talking about! How clever of you to name your purple iris that!

    The sweet yellow flower is a perfect companion plant in your garden!

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  11. Yes! Which is to say kale has great flowers and it looks so lovely with many things. I am envious of all the color in your garden. BTW, PPPP has come up and is shown in my latest blog post (yes, I actually posted again--HA!).

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  12. Such beautiful combos Gail. I can see why you're smitten. Especially that dark stem with the butter yellow. I LOVE your lilac irises and the reference to the older women. Can't have too many irises I think.

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  13. Hi Gail, I don't grow any cabbage either for just that reason:) I really like the little white butterflies and can buy a head of cabbage at any store.

    That kale and iris photo is a knockout! Did you plan that combo or is it one of those perfect accidents?

    Marnie

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  14. Beautiful! And I'm just amazed how far along your garden is. What fun!

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  15. Stunning combos, Gail ... heart stopping beauties!

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  16. marnie, Costco Pink was a happy accident after that i thought about the plantings. The Redbor with iris was easy since the kale is in a container! The cosmos were planted in the kale containers...along with a few other annuals, sedum and a redbud stem I painted purple! Gail

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  17. How pretty Gail! I love the yellow with the pink, so eye popping. Thanks for the plant ID too!

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  18. That butter yellow is always a favourite in the garden, but in combination with blue, it can't be beat! Thought I must say I love it with the hot pink of that Cosmos, too!

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  19. What a fun post, Gail! I wonder if that kale would live over the winter here in zone 5b. My own kale that I use for eating blooms in the spring. I've been eating salads made with the flower buds and young leaves with violets and salad burnet. They are producing more and more flower buds now. I was able to add some lettuce thinnings the other day, too. I will be able to get more thinning done when the soil dries up enough after the rain we've had the last few days.

    Anyway, I wonder if the flower buds on the ornamental ones are edible. The flowers sure are pretty, and I love all the combinations.

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  20. Sue, I think they are edible...but I might hesitate to eat them because they aren't grown organically! The seedlings will be! gail

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  21. The kale bloom is a perfect buttery yellow Gail.....I love it with the Costco pink tulip. I like that colour combination.

    I have planted bearded iris for the first time this year.....I am really looking forward to seeing them bloom.....

    I would rather have butterflies than cabbage Gail. I can always buy cabbage from the farm shop.

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  22. It does seem to go with everything. Love butter yellow, love kale! Alas, they are killed here and do not bolt so I will enjoy yours. I can get the broccoli to flower somewhat similarly though.

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  23. Hi, Gail;
    I've never seen Kale blossoms before but I'd love to have this gorgeous shade of yellow in my gardens. I wonder if it would like living with me? :)) Certainly worth a try.

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  24. I love the often overlooked vegetable garden flowers. The kale blossoms are gorgeous!

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  25. Vibrant combination of colors! The critters seem to love the kale.

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  26. Really pretty combos, Gail! I was surprised to notice that the first of my earliest (real) iris began blooming yesterday!

    Word verification: exodin. at first glance, I saw explodin' - which would be true of this year's Spring.

    Crazy tornadoes yesterday. Hopefully not near you.

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  27. I didn't know what kale looked like when it blooms. It always looks like mush here by spring. I love the purple iris. I have some dark purple ones blooming now. The paler shades of blue will be later.

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  28. Beautiful pictures! I love Irises - thanks for the "okay" that I can keep / add them to my garden that I'm trying to turn native. I love that you have plants in your garden from Frances - a little blogosphere love in real life!

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  29. I love all of the brassicas when they flower - kale, arugula, collards, etc. And overwintering herbs like cilantro and parsley are wonderful, too.

    The viola and kale flower combination is delightful -- I never want to pull up my bolted veggies until the flowers fade....

    Love all of your photos!
    Lisa

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  30. Gail, That is the prettiest shade of yellow I have ever seen. (And I'm a connoisseur of yellows!) I like it best with the blue-violets in the first photo -- but in truth I love yellows in combination with every other color. I've never thought of growing kale for flowers; I'll have to check into it and see if it would work here. -Jean

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  31. That is a lovely color and I'm always a fan of blue Irises too. As for letting veggies bolt, we've had a lettuce plant that we allowed to go wild for years. No one could ever guess that this 5 foot tall plant covered in little periwinkle blue daisy like flowers that bloomed all summer long was just a plain old Romaine lettuce. LOL

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  32. Who knew that letting something bolt could be so pleasant. It really combines well with so many colors. I have those lavender blue Irises in my garden as well. They were inherited from the previous owner and I've shared them many times. :)

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  33. Your Kale looks lovely and the yellow is just the right shade to mix with other colours. I must admit that as a vegetable grower I never think of letting some plants go to flower. I will give it a go this year.

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  34. I too have the Rebar Kale from FG..hasn't gone to seed yet.. the buttery yellow is a great accent to almost any flower.

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  35. I'm sold....my garden needs Kale and Costco Pink tulips. Will Sam's Club Pink tulips work?

    How wonderful to have enjoyed the "Lilac Tinted Hair" irises for all these years. I had a blue-haired grandmother, she was beautiful to me, just like your irises.

    Health issues going on with my dad, so I haven't had the time to visit here as often as I'd like.

    donna

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  36. aloha,

    i like your kale flower combinations especially with the iris..thats a natural...i usually don't let my kale flower, but i may just let some go this time and see what happens.

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  37. Hello Gail,

    I just love the buttery yellow flowers with the purple in the background. Such a wonderful color contrast.

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  38. I know about veggies bolting but I never thought about what would happen in the spring. Those yellow flowers are simply delightful — perfect color and so airy. I have the same grape-y iris that was growing in my garden when we moved in; planted by the homeowner 50 years before. I love them — fragrant and they never fall over.

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  39. Love the kale blooms Gail - they're delicious in your garden.

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  40. I love all of those combinations! The kale looks great with so many things!

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  41. Thanks all for your wonderful comments~You know I love yellow and this one is a sweet one! gail

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  42. I have seen kale flowers before, but only by themselves and never used to such beautiful effect! They look wonderful with your lavender and purple iris.

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  43. i just took pictures of my flowering kale the other day but haven't posted them. i was pleasantly surprized by them while getting the raised beds ready for this years crops.
    i am still learning so much...every season here is a new discovering.
    i really like all the combinations but am partial to the deep purple viola with the yellow center next to the kales lovely buttery hue.

    happy april.

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  44. Hi Gail, maybe it is my first visit here, just followed your comment somewhere. I love your photos, even if the flower is maybe ordinary you can make it so interesting and very beautiful. thanks.

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