By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It doesn’t take long after the holidays for festive outdoor planters to look out of date. Greens turn brown, and in my case, the squirrels raided the boughs of holly for their berries, destroying the displays with their digging.

Since there’s not much available in January, this is when you’ll be particularly pleased if you planted pansies last fall.

Hardy pansies overwinter beautifully. You’ll even find them blooming through the snow – or at least as soon it melts enough for the flowers to peek through.

My friend Chris became a convert to fall pansies a year ago, and we both got a flat to plant this past October. Her plants were teensy, with very few roots, so when they didn’t flower through November, she figured they’d died. But recently, she was surprised to look out and see them flowering just fine – they’d found their footing, grown lots of leaves and now had the strength to bloom. Proving once again that gardening’s often as much about patience as anything else.

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