How to make your garden bloom

The West's best flowers for borders, beds, bouquets, and containers

17 best plants for cool-season color

Brighten gray, drizzly days with the West's best cool-season flowers

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Viola 'Penny Mickey'
Photo: Gabriela Hasbun

Viola

Annual

Like their relative the pansy, violas light up gray days with happy colors and sweet fragrance. They’re a wonderful overwintering plant and self-sow readily.

Rain really beats down pansy flowers, but violas bounce back quickly.

Violas are smaller than pansies (between the size of a nickle and a quarter) but have more flowers per plant. They come in blue, yellow, white, and cream and bi-colored varieties. ('Penny Mickey' is pictured here.)

Use violas for mass color in borders and edging, as covers for spring bulbs, or for quick color in winter containers.

Violas take sun or part shade. Pick flowers to prolong bloom. Remove plants in summer if they begin to look ragged.

More on growing violas

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