In the Garden: Sturdy flowers for early spring

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) While it seems like forever for spring to get here, Sharon Meyer and Charlie Nardozzi tell us there are some sturdy flowers that you can plant now, even with snow in the forecast.

Sharon Meyer: Well Rosie and Linus want to help us with the garden segment and today, we're talking about pansies.

Charlie Nardozzi: We're talking about pansies, and there are two different kinds of pansies, and we can plant them in two different ways. So first of all, we've got the little guys. These are little pansies often called violas, and what is great about these is that they self-sow. So you plant them in the garden, and they'll throw seed all over the place and they will pop up all over.

Sharon Meyer: And they'll come up early, like through the snow and everything.

Charlie Nardozzi: Exactly. They are really nice that way. They are really hardy. They are great little guys to have out there and I love planting them around other bulbs that are in the garden. So some of the early bulbs that are coming up, like the crocus and the winter aconites, which creates a little colorful spot right in your garden.

Sharon Meyer: We need it this time of year.

Charlie Nardozzi: We need it this time of year, for sure. So, these are really nice ones to have if you want to have them year after year -- the johnny jump-ups are in this family.

Then you get the big guys. These big pansies have the big faces on them -- they're gorgeous, they're hybrids. They're bred to be really big and gaudy. You can certainly put these in the garden, but they aren't going to self-sow and they are really more of a true annual in the sense that after they're done, they're done. So that's why I like putting them in a pot and you can put them inside when it's real cold like this time of year, and bring them out on warm days.

Sharon Meyer: But they are pretty hardy -- they'll take a lot.

Charlie Nardozzi: They will, they'll take temperatures down into the 20s and they'll be ok. But they are a nice little house plant too, so you can put them in a sunny window and they'll look really great that way. So you've got these two different types. Put them in the garden, or keep them in a container. They like it cool, so after they are done flowering, cut them way back, put them in the shade, and they will flower for you again a second time in the fall.

Sharon Meyer: Oh, love that.