On February 2, our furry groundhog friend said we’re set to endure at least six more weeks of winter. If that news left you feeling deflated, keep in mind that you don’t have to settle for a dull and lifeless garden until April. There are many seasonal flowers and other plants that you can use to brighten up your garden right now!

First of all, think beyond the flowers that you typically plant in your garden. Evergreen shrubs still add plenty of life to your landscaping, even if they aren’t flowering right now. This is especially true for variegated plants with two colors on each leaf. Ornamental kale also makes a beautiful addition. For edible gardens, winter crops like lettuces and cabbages can be used as decorative borders. They’re also tasty, and it’s fun to make salads from ingredients you grow yourself!

As for flowers, you don’t have to wait until spring to enjoy beautiful blooms. Plenty of flowers will bloom right now, especially considering our mild climate here in Southern California. Some of these flowers can’t tolerate heat, so this is the best time to enjoy them. Consider phlox, pansies, violas, snapdragons, and cyclamen. All of these options offer vibrant color, and are sure to improve a dreary winter mood.

Locate your plants wisely, because sunlight is weaker in the winter. You will want to place them in a sunny spot so that they receive as much light as possible.

As always, remember to water deeply at the roots when planting your new flowers. After planting, water on a regular basis, but only when the soil becomes dry to the touch. The best time to water your plants is in the morning, when you can count on the sun to warm them throughout the day.

Avoid over-feeding your winter garden, because plants tend to absorb less fertilizer in cool weather. Mulch your garden to retain moisture and prevent weed problems.

For more help with your winter garden, please stop by our nursery! We have a nice selection of beautiful perennial flowers and shrubs blooming right now, as well as many other cool-season ornamental plants. We’ll be happy to offer some advice and help you select the right plants for your landscaping project.

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