Trying something new this year - winter pansies, small varieties - viola-like - that are bred to withstand winter temperatures to Zone 5! These are Cool Wave pansies, new from Ball and the latest in the Wave series. They won't be on the market till next spring, but I'll let you know.
I'm already a fan of the summer Waves are very popular. They keep their color and spread several feet, filling in nicely.
Winter pansies sound like an oxymoron, but more folks are catching on. These Cool Waves are hyped as spreading twice as far as their summer cousins and having excellent tolerance for cold weather when planted in the ground.
Mine are obviously in a container. I want to see them from the kitchen. The good news: They're OK in sun to part shade.
So, in addition to planting bulbs this fall, and shrubs and trees and perennials - have we mentioned that fall is a great time to plant? - try a few winter pansies. They'll give you color when there isn't much else out there and they'll be bright in early spring.
These guys spread up to 30 inches. For once, I didn't stuff them in the pot. As the temperatures drop, they'll have to spread out and snuggle up to stay warm. I'll be watching from the kitchen.