There are a number of plants that can make it through cold winter months with your help. However, you may not have the time, the inclination or the resources to coddle your garden through the winter months. If you want to enjoy the benefits of flowers and vegetables all year round, but need plants with winter protection of their own in order to do so, then you will need to tailor your planting so that during the winter you are raising plants that just plain "like" the cold.
Carefree crops can be grown in cold weather without the aid of a greenhouse or extensive structural protection. These plants may be planted during cold weather, but you need to get them in the ground before the ground freezes. Kale, garlic and leeks are all weather-resistant plants that are edible and that will sustain themselves during cold weather. Composting or mulching these veggies will help them taste better and grow more vigorously, but you will not need to cover or warm these carefree crops during the winter.
Blooming Winter Flowers
If you want to see some color in your garden during snowy winter months, then alpine flowers offer some good alternatives. Purple fringe actually comes in blue, violet and white, while bear grass is related to lilies and presents a deep green fan of leaves. Moss campion does not even need much soil to grow, and has pretty, delicate pink flowers.
Native Outdoor Plants
Plants that are endemic to your area are ideal if you want a low-maintenance winter garden. Ivy and similar climbers generally come with winter protection, and trimming them back in the fall actually encourages lush growth come spring. Native outdoor plants may not actually be visible in the winter months, but they do not require special protection and will appear for you each spring without coddling or excessive cold-weather care. Transplant native plants already growing in your yard into beds or gardens to make them part of your winter-proof landscaping.