Q: What gardening activities can I do on a chilly winter day?

A: I pondered this on a day too cold to get out in my garden. Some plants still need to be kept covered due to chilly nights, bird feeders and bath are full. Plants that froze should not be trimmed yet. Now what?

The sun is shining and the weather is brisk, let’s go to the nursery to enjoy some pretty plants!

Nurseries are diligent in protecting their tender items in covered areas and have some lovely blooming plants. Succulents are a booming collectible for new and experienced gardeners, and these days the choices are amazing. Plant names may be unclear, so choose what pleases your eye. Many will surprise you over time with how hardy they can be, but for now, keep them in a protected, bright spot indoors and water sparingly. Most don’t like our high humidity as the weather heats up. While it’s cool and dry, they are stunning.

Then the display pots of flowering beauties with unfamiliar names can quickly be researched on your phone. Many may only like Houston before it gets hot, so consider them as you would when buying cut flowers for your home, though they may last for a few months. Some I saw were besieged by honey bees at the nursery; add to your porch to attract pollinators while your garden is sleeping.

You can still enjoy flowering treasures with just a few extra plants in pots before spring comes to your garden.

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Suzzanne Chapman, retired botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens, promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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