In the Garden

Colorful and Sweet Plants in Winter

Garden centers are full of colorful pansies waiting to have a place in your yard! These sweet-smelling flowers will flower all winter. You can plant pansies in a sunny location or in containers; either way, you’ll enjoy the sight and fragrance of these bright, colorful flowers all winter.

While at the garden center, look at the many other flowering plants available for fall planting and winter color. Snapdragons, dianthus/pinks, sweet alyssum, ornamental kale and cabbage, Swiss chard, and hardy cyclamen are all available to brighten your winter landscape. All these plants grow well in sunny, well-drained locations and are cold-hardy to 25 degrees.

Always water before a freeze is expected. Ensure you cover the plants if the temperature drops below 25 degrees.

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Shade loving Hellebore

In beautiful tree-shaded areas, Hellebore is one of the most commonly overlooked perennials. These fragrant, winter-flowering evergreen perennials grow in the shade. Varieties with white, pink, and red are available.

The lobed leaves are dark green. It’s best to fertilize these beauties during summer. I have all white-flowering hellebores under my live oaks, where I can enjoy them from the kitchen window.

Sweet alyssum is white or purple — plant ornamental kale and cabbage for the symmetry and color of the foliage. Ornamental kale and cabbage are purple or white. Keep your eye on the kale and cabbage plants; their colors grow more intense as it grows. If you are looking for a different kind of kale, search for the varieties with frilly foliage.

Dianthus varieties are pink, red, and white. They smell like carnations, so plant them where the fragrance will perfume the air. Sweet alyssum grows like a ground cover. Mix sweet alyssum with pansies, or plant them en-masse to enjoy the flowers and the scent.

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A visiting honeybee pollinating a Snapdragon

Colorful snapdragons are available in both short and tall varieties. Plant the tall varieties if you like to cut the flowers.

On sunny days, you’ll see bees enter the flowers. Watch the flower snap shut as the bee exits.

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Colorful Swiss Chard

Swiss chard varieties have bright, colorful stems that grow taller all winter and brighten any winter landscape or container. Parsley and cilantro grow in the winter; I use these plants as filler in containers.


Dotty Woodson

Dotty Woodson has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Horticulture from Tarleton State University and a doctoral degree from Texas A&M and Texas Tech Universities for Agricultural Education, Communication, and Leadership. Woodson taught horticulture, irrigation, rainwater harvesting, and landscape water conservation by design, plant selection, and efficient irrigation efficiency for 35 years.

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