Pansies and violas are charming cold-tolerant annuals that you can plant in winter and enjoy through spring.
Viola flowers are small—typically less than an inch across—while pansy flowers can be two to three inches wide. Pansies and violas come in a range of colors, including red, white, purple, yellow, and apricot. Some pansy flowers are a single bright color, while others have a dark center. Some also produce a sweet scent at dawn and dusk.
Because they're compact plants, pansies and violas are ideal for borders, containers, and window boxes. They're also edible. Plant yours in a well-drained, rich soil where they'll receive plenty of sun, and irrigate them only as needed.
When temperatures warm up, you can replace them with more heat-tolerant plants.