For Colorado gardeners, February can seem like an eternity: three long months away from prime planting season in May. What can a gardener do besides stare out the window and dream of turning the yard into an oasis of color come spring?
In fact, there’s much more they can do than daydream. Several hardy flowers can be planted now and survive the cold, giving them a head start for spring.
“By planting while the ground is wetter, you can spend less time watering your plantings, and give them more time to settle in,” notes Gardeners’ World.
Here are 5 choices that can thrive during these still-dark days of winter:
Lupins: Tall and stately, these perennials come in a potpourri of colors, from vibrant pinks and purples to pristine ivory. Plant them in well-drained soil.
Hardy geraniums: Less showy than the geraniums most people think of, with multi-blooms on one stem, these are simpler flowers that grow in sun or shade and can adapt to most soils, although Gardeners’ World cautions against “waterlogged” soil.
Globe thistles: Round blue pom-pons on the end of a stem, globe thistles are a great accent to use with all kinds of flowers. Better yet, they grow well in poor soil. Be sure to choose a spot with full sun.
Japanese anemones: Great for borders, particularly in partial shade such as under trees, these sweet flowers will blend well with your existing garden. One note: “They dislike being transplanted, so try to plant in a spot where this is unlikely to be needed,” notes Gardeners’ World.
Pansies: These delicate-looking flowers are actually extremely hardy and love cold weather. “The cheery blooms can survive sudden cold snaps, as well as tolerate weather in the single digits for several hours,” notes HGTV.com. Better yet, they come in host of colors. Plant them in pots to place on your front porch to add bursts of color to drab winter days.