By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This is why I love to plant pansies in the fall.

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Hardy pansies, planted in the fall, sit still most of the winter – mostly green, not really blooming. But get a few sunny days and a little bit of warmth and boom – long before you could ever go out and plant annuals in the spring, fall-planted pansies are already in full bloom!

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You can plant pansies in most any sunny spot, even over your spring flowering bulbs. So, right now, when bulb leaves are emerging, they’re happy to push up among a patch of pansies. As the taller bulbs like tulips and daffodils bloom in the weeks ahead with pansies at their feet, you get great color combinations in an effect that gardeners call ‘shoes and socks’.

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One of the best things about planting them over bulbs is that the pansies keep blooming after the bulbs finish flowering – providing a pretty distraction from the leftover leaves as they brown down to feed the bulbs for next year.