"Hello. Do you have any ornamental kale?"
The very thought of making this phone call to Home Depot on a Sunday morning made me hate myself a little. But it's late September in Boston, I'm a yuppie, and I got this nifty sidewalk planter not long ago. I need the kale.
In an ideal world, I'd just head to Mahoney's, my local source for pretty and less-expected container plants and holiday greenery. I'd spend the afternoon looking at delicate ferns, hybrid flowers, and heirloom tree varieties and fantasizing about having a rooftop conservatory where I could grow citrus trees in winter. But Mahoney's wasn't in the cards today, because kids. At least if they knock everything off the shelves at the Depot, I can throw them both into an orange cart and we can all go hide in a floor-model shower stall for twenty minutes.
I couldn't bring myself to call—just loaded everyone into the car and tried our yuppie luck. And after a few passes through the Garden Center, I found one neglected cart of limp ornamental kale in the corner and dug out the only three viable-looking heads. I also found rows and rows of standard-issue mums, so I picked up a few pots to plant alongside the kale.
Trick of the trade: If you're impatient like me and want full containers that spill over with blooms from the day you plant them, buy hanging planters instead of standard pots and clip off the plastic hangers. They're usually the same price, and you can often get multiples on sale.
One muddy hour of digging and planting with the kids, a few decorative gourds from Whole Foods, and bingo: Yuppie arrangements for days. Because that's probably as long as I'll keep them alive.
Any tips on keeping these babies looking good? Do share.