Q: What flowers should I plant in the garden at the end of the year?
A: There are lots of winter plants that you can add now to enjoy through the late spring. Winter annuals come in all shapes, sizes and colors, many with treasured blue flowers. It’s also a great time to evaluate your garden structure to add evergreen interest or other shrubs and trees.
Try edging lobelia, larkspur and delphiniums, which will send up 4- to 5-foot spikes of flowers around Easter. Dainty baby blue eyes (Nemophila phacelioides) and blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium species) shine in a Texas native garden. And of course, Texas bluebonnets for a full sun, well-drained area! A nice contrast is bright yellow-gold Coreopsis or California poppies.
Traditional plants that perform splendidly include petunias in all colors and mixes, and snapdragons with fun, bright colors. Smaller-flowered violas hold up well in part shade and are usually overlooked by browsing bunnies or deer, who love to eat big-flowered pansies. Dianthus come in many color combinations with pinked-edge petals and often a great fragrance. Try something different like flowering tobacco with bright pink, red and white flowers. Strong honey fragrance denotes alyssum, which can bloom until June.
For a more formal look, try cyclamen in a well-drained, shady area. Remember that if any of these plants are newly planted and a freeze is imminent, they will benefit from frost-cloth protection overnight.
Come on out to Mercer Botanic Gardens to be inspired by their color display beds. Happy holidays and get outside to enjoy the cooler garden days.