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Mid-Atlantic Gardening: Planning for the Pretty and Practical

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Plan now for your best garden ever. Discover new plants such as Tuscan kale; planting ideas; and practical garden advice to make your Mid-Atlantic yard sparkle.

Tuscan kale leaf texture
Tuscan kale and elephant ears

By Julie Martens Forney

Winter months find me reviewing last year’s garden—and making plans for this year’s growing season. One of last year’s successes was Tuscan kale. This newcomer to my garden has amazing leaf texture. It’s also known as “dinosaur kale” because the pebbled leaves supposedly resemble dino skin.

Tuscan or dinosaur kale sparks many conversations in my garden. It pairs beautifully with the broad-leaf texture of elephant ears. This leafy green definitely tucks into my garden again. One tip I’d share: If you’re growing Tuscan kale in a vegetable garden, remember to work it into your crop rotation plan as a member of the cabbage family.

Check out some of my other plans for the coming garden season:

Foliage container garden

Foliage Front and Center

I’m a huge fan of container gardens, using them to decorate my deck and porch. This year I plan to dedicate at least one pot to foliage.

I spied this terrific foliage container garden among our local garden club’s basket designs. It inspires my own version of an all-foliage planter that celebrates leaf texture and color. I might even try two foliage container gardens: one for sun, and one for shade.

Deep trench edging

Deep Trench Edging

When I created a large perennial bed in my backyard, I gave it deep trench edging.

While the edging didn’t draw the neatest line, it was clearly present.  

Perennial bed lacks edges

Today the plantings look great, but the edge is nonexistent since the trench has filled in.

I plan to refresh the edging on this bed this year—no matter what. A neat bed edging makes plantings stand out, and it makes mowing easier too.

Preen pre-emergent weed control

Zapping Weeds

I built a dry creek as part of a rainscape to deal with water runoff. This past spring many weeds sprouted in the gravel creek bed. In the coming year I’ll use a pre-emergent weed control such as Preen.

A pre-emergent weed control works by keeping weed seeds from taking root. If I work it into the gravel, it shouldn’t wash away.

What plans do you have for the coming year? I’d love to hear. Your ideas might inspire me.

See more Mid-Atlantic Gardening Articles.