We’ve made it through another long, hot summer, and fall is finally upon us. We’ve freshened up our beds with Chrysanthemums and MariMums and perhaps a few petunias for a bright splash of color. Now we can kick back and say we’re through for the year. But what about winter? There’s no reason to let your flower beds remain brown and drab until spring, just because that first freeze came along and claimed all your beautiful fall color. In beds or in pots, let these cold hardy annuals brighten up you winter landscape.
The star of winter color is the pansy. Unlike its name implies, the pansy can take freezing temperatures and keep going strong. There are so many colors to choose from, that there’s bound to be a variety just for you. Pansies can be planted in a mass of a single color, two complimentary colors, or a mixed bed of many different colors. Just be sure to plant them in well-drained soil and give them plenty of sun. Incorporate manure into the soil and fertilize individual plants with blood meal for best color.
Pansies aren’t the only ones who thrive in the winter. Ornamental cabbage and kale are big hits in the winter landscape. They come in white, pink and red. The kale has a more ruffled leaf than does the cabbage; some of the fancier varieties even take on a feathery appearance. Plant both in full sun and make sure they have good drainage.
For a touch of contrast, how about that summertime favorite, Dusty Miller? That’s right! Given proper drainage, Dusty Miller will hold its shape and color throughout the winter, and really brings out the darker pansy shades. Another year-round favorite is the dianthus, or Pink. Planted in the fall it will stand up proud and green throughout the winter and begin blooming profusely in the early spring.
So, this year, when you’re winterizing your home, don’t forget to winterize your landscape with some cheerful winter color!