Garden Gate: Cool weather blooms

Cool weather flowers

Just when you think one more day of dreary drizzly weather will send you straight to Mexico, you see a patch of colorful winter blooms that cheer you up. February is when I need a splash of color the most. We seldom freeze, but our cool weather temperatures have scared away most of our summer bloomers by now. But think about cheery pansies, snapdragons, ornamental kale, English daisies and my favorites, primrose and cyclamen. We can enjoy them here until temperatures start to climb in late spring.

Not many blooms say “winter” as do cyclamen. Cyclamen is a part of the Primrose family. You can find these exquisite flowers in white, pink, maroon (hello, area Aggies) and red. Just think of butterflies on the tip end of a stem, and you have pictured a cyclamen. You can find huge florist-grown cyclamen in containers, but a smaller, hardier version can be found at area nurseries that will do better outdoors in a planting bed. Their leaves resemble spinach...

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Joette Reger is an avid gardener and prides  herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. She can be reached by e-mail at joreger [at] msn [dot] com and on Facebook at “Gardengate with Joette Reger.”