It seems that wherever I go, I see Swiss chard. This showy, cool-season plant, sometimes called a “beet without a bottom,” is showing up in the landscape, in mixed containers and in local grocery stores. Is it an ornamental or an edible? It is both. Do you eat it fresh or do you cook it? Again, the answer is both.It has been almost 20 years since the All-America Selections winner ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard showed up on the scene.Swiss chard: highly ornamental and wonderfully edible Swiss chard is known botanically as “Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris,” showing it is a leafy beet.But holy cow! Now you look at a catalogue and you’ll see ‘Bright Lights’ there, but also single colors like ‘Oriole,’ ‘El Dorado,’ ‘Magenta Sunset,’ ‘Ruby Red’ and the bicolored ‘Peppermint.’ The same thing can be found at your grocery store. There are probably three to four varieties to choose from for your culinary artistry needs.Swiss chard is ready to harvest at baby green – within 30 days – or at mature harvest in 60 days. You may cut the outer leaves when they are smaller and more tender or cut or break them off when they are 12 to 18 inches tall. Like many plants, it seems harvesting lengthens production.The stalks can be cooked like asparagus. Cut the stems into 2- or 3-inch lengths and simmer in boiling, salted water until tender. The leaves can be cooked or eaten fresh in tossed salads. Or you can simply enjoy the texture and color in the landscape or a styled container.If you find yourself in the frozen tundra right now, just know that you can use Swiss chard as a fall crop or spring crop. Actually with its heat tolerance, it has become a year-round crop in some areas, where it is grown in succession plantings. Space plants about 6 inches apart. In the garden, this would usually mean rows 18 to 30 inches apart. I think the flower bed is the real location of choice for Swiss chard. Here, you would still use the same 6-inch spacing, but plant in large, informal drifts where you might plant a couple of flats.Another good way to use ‘Bright Lights’ or your favorite variety in the landscape would be as a pocket planting of seven to nine plants clustered behind pansies or three plants at the center of a large mixed container. Feed the plants a diluted, water-soluble fertilizer every couple of weeks during the growing season.Here is hoping you have a little Swiss chard for your holiday dinners, but when the garden centers open back up and start bringing in fresh transplants, give them a try in your garden.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. For more information about the University of Georgia Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm, go to www.coastalgeorgiabg.org.
Dr Ingrid Tall, owner of Cosmetic Image Clinic, has sold her Norman Park investment property. Photo: Bruce Long.FORMER Australian Medical Association Queensland boss, media identity and political aspirant Dr Ingrid Tall has sold her Norman Park investment property for a tidy $2.32 million.Dr Tall, who now runs Cosmetic Images Clinics in the Brisbane CBD, has owned the property at 8 Wynnum Rd, Norman Park, for two decades.GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HEREThis property at 8 Wynnum Rd, Norman Park, has just sold for $2.32m.The home at 8 Wynnum Rd, Norman Park, as seen from the front.The home has been snapped up by a couple of empty nesters moving from a large acreage property on Brisbane’s southside.While they might be downsizing in terms of the land and house, the buyers are certainly upsizing when it comes to views.MILLIONS CHANGE HANDS DURING HUGE AUCTION WEEKThe kitchen in the home at 8 Wynnum Rd, Norman Park.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours agoThe view from the deck at 8 Wynnum Rd, Norman Park.The four-bedroom riverfront home offers spectacular, panoramic views of the river and city.The traditional Queenslander-style house has a timeless gabled white and navy facade and retains original features such as wooden floors, VJ walls and high ceilings.BRISBANE HOUSE PRICES LEAVING SYDNEY FOR DEADInside the home at 8 Wynnum Rd, Norman Park.The property is very private, bound by only one neighbour and with Norman Creek on the other side.The house is two-storey and split into two completely separate, self-contained living zones.Sarah Hackett of Place negotiated the sale.Records show the property last sold for $822,000 in 2001.WHAT QUEENSLANDERS WANT IN A HOMEVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:29Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:29 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenChris Hemsworth’s Byron Bay mega-mansion00:29