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Here in Whatcom County, we do not have to settle for the drab grays and browns of fall and winter. We can create an amazing colorful container garden. Make our Lynden, Blaine and Bellingham porches jump for joy with so much color and texture!

While there are lots of annuals that instantly give up the ghost at the hint of frost there are plenty that scoff at the cold and look great and will last well past the first frost. Some will even look fabulous and sculptural with a coating of snow. Try combining different heights and forms, or go simple and pot a single dramatic plant in a beautiful container.

Try some of these cold-loving annuals:

  1. Flowering cabbages
  2. Flowering kales
  3. Annual grasses
  4. Sages
  5. Cyclamen
  6. Hellebores
  7. Pansies
  8. Primroses
  9. Ranunculus

Use Containers That Tolerate Cold

Make sure that your containers are made of a material that will withstand freezing and thawing. Ceramics, terracottas and thin plastics probably will not survive. Instead, try containers made of Fiberglass, Metal
Thick plastic, Stone, Concrete or even Hollow logs can make a great container for plants.

Make sure that drainage holes are clear and use pot feet to elevate your containers. That way they won’t freeze to the ground, which can break even the hardiest pot.

Plan for Frost

While you can’t buy your plants’ tiny winter coats, there are things you can do to help them survive the remaining shades of winter in early spring. You want to make sure NOT to fertilize your plants until after the last frost in your area. You don’t want to encourage new growth, which is tender and won’t survive cold temperatures and could even weaken or kill your plant.

Understand what “freezing” means … According to the “Farmers’ Almanac,” here’s what to expect…

Light freeze (between 29°F to 32°F): tender plants are killed, other vegetation is not dramatically effected.
Moderate freeze (between 25°F and 28°F): heavy damage to tender and semi-hardy plants.
Severe Freeze (below 25°F): only the hardy survive.