This time of year, shorter days, and cold weather make it difficult to find joy in the garden.  So, what can you do to make your garden merry and bright? While you might have planted some early blooming cold weather flowering plants from bulbs such as winter aconite, snowdrops, chionodoxa, and crocus, there are other plants that can be grown, especially if you live in a warmer climate.

In areas of the US, where winter temperatures don't drop below freezing, many cold-weather flowering plants are considered annuals. They can be found in a variety of colors and have different shapes and sizes.

Some flowering cold-weather plants to consider planting are:

Cyclamen - Cyclamen is a low-maintenance annual plant. Some people use them for decorative purposes while others use them as an ornamental houseplant that is easy to care for because it is resistant to pests and fungus infections. The flowers on this plant can range from pink, violet, white or red colors. They also come in different sizes. The leaves on these plants are shiny, glossy, and oval-shaped with a serrated edge along the edges and can be variegated. Cyclamens require cool weather and sunlight, but not too much. They like moist, well-drained soil.

English Primrose – The primroses of the English countryside are hardy and prefer sheltered shaded areas but will tolerate dry soil for a little while. Primroses are a great way to use color and interest in your garden. Primroses feature delicate clusters of star-shaped flowers in a variety of colors and bloom from winter to late spring. The English Primrose can be found in many different habitats and soil types. They are often found in semi-shaded areas that have moist soil like hedgerows and woods, but they can also grow in sunny places like woodland edges, fields, grasslands, and rock ledges. The plant does not need much water and will thrive in areas of drought as well.

Pansies - Pansies are among the easiest plants to grow in your home garden. They thrive in cool weather settings. They are popular because of their vibrant colors and fragrant smell. Pansies can be grown in pretty much any soil, but they seem to do best when they are planted in well-draining soil with plenty of mulch.  They come in many different colors including white, yellow, blue, red, and purple. Plus, they look beautiful planted in mass!

Snapdragons – Snapdragons are sturdy plants that produce spikes are fragrant blooms early in the season. The plants look wonderful when grown in mass in the garden or border. They are also great for containers. Deadheading the flowers will promote re-blooming. Their flowers last longer than some other plants and they have a sweet fragrance as well. Snapdragons need well-drained soil and a lot of water during the first few weeks after planting. They are also known to attract bees and hummingbirds to your garden.

Sweet Alyssum - Growing sweet alyssum in the winter is a great idea because it can survive in climates with colder winters and harsher conditions. This plant will do best with sun exposure of 8 hours per day or more and needs to be watered once or twice per week depending on where you live and how cold it gets outside. Alyssum does not like wet soil conditions because it isn't tolerant to frost, so make sure you keep it away from water spots that could freeze over time causing damage to the root system. 

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