Winter-flowering annuals such as pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) add a vivid contrast to snow cover.
Corsican violet (Viola corsica), a wild Mediterranean variety with 1-inch purple flowers, offers staying power until late fall. Zones 4-9
American pasqueflower (Pulsatilla patens) has goblet-shape purple blossoms and is hardy to an altitude of 11,500 feet. Zones 4-7
Sweet William (Dianthus 'First Love') produces mounds of flowers that change from pure white to deep rose, blooming constantly from April to October. Zones 4-9
Basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatilis) and the tiny blue forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica) cure spring fever. Basket-of-gold is hardy Zones 4-8; forget-me-not is hardy Zones 5-9.
Winter-hardy gazania (Gazania krebsiana 'Tanager') blooms nonstop from March until the heat of summer arrives. Zones 7-10
Lungwort (Pulmonaria longiflora 'Roy Davidson') breaks winter's spell with showy sprays of blue, bell-shape flowers and blue-green leaves speckled with silver. Zones 5-8
Blue star creeper (Isotoma fluviatilis) puts an end to the winter doldrums. Star-shape blue flowers are abundant from spring to late autumn on this rugged perennial creeper. Zones 5-9
Candytuft (Iberis sempervirens) attracts early butterflies but its white blooms are distasteful to foraging deer. Zones 5-9