I knew the 70 degree temps couldn’t last forever, so I finally broke down and worked in the yard to get it ready for winter and looking good again.  A few weeks ago I weeded all of the beds, and they still looked good, so I turned my focus to hanging baskets, the kitchen window basket and planters by the fire pit.

After a trip to Lowe’s, I was ready to go.  I started with the hanging baskets and filled them with fresh soil, then added a plant that looks like rabbit’s ear (found out later it’s dusty miller!).  I finished them with some purple pansies, because together they just look like winter.

2016 garden 01

I put two different kinds of mounding violas in the window box by the kitchen window, and the planters by the fire pit.  I like them because they’re like smaller versions of pansies, and pansies remind me of my great-grandmother, Varina.

2016 garden 03

If you’re looking to spruce up your yard for the winter, here are some tips that I’ve learned from Pegs and Lowe’s:

  • Look for healthy plants with lots of buds. Don’t buy plants that are already in flower – they won’t transplant as easily, and you’’ll have more time with blooms if the plants are only in bud when purchased.
  • Remove the plants from the plastic by pushing up on the bottom of the container. Don’’t grab them by their delicate stems.
  • Gently loosen the soil around the roots, and plant in the ground at the same level as they were in their cell pack.
  • Mounding violas should be spaced about 6-8 inches apart. Trailing or spreading varieties can be planted 10-12 inches apart.

2016 garden 04

A few weeks in, and they’re all still doing well, despite the frost and lack of rain!  Hopefully these will hold us over until it gets warmer and spring is officially here.  Now we just need to lay some more pine straw..

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