It’s always a bit surprising to see a plant sitting in the snow, in bloom. Although there are gardeners who will tell you that nothing will bloom in the winter, there are others who know better. Whether a particular plant will bloom in the winter depends, of course, on the temperature range in your area.
The winter aconite is a hardy little plant, often seen pushing through the snow, to bloom in January through March. A member of the buttercup family, this plant bears the same shade of yellow flowers, and will bloom for up to six weeks. Winter aconites prefer some shade during the day but will do fine in full sunlight as long as you water them often. They thrive in an evenly moist, alkaline soil. Hardy to USDA zones 4 to 7.
Phlox is truly a winter flower, thriving in the weaker winter sun. If you are looking for pink flowers, consider the phlox nivalis variety, ‘Camla,' which bear large flowers as early as November. Phlox subulata will make its appearance in December with, depending upon the cultivar, flowers in shades of pink and purple. Hardy to USDA zones 3b through 10, phlox thrives in partly sunny areas of the garden.
This is a tiny plant that is usually used in rock gardens or woodsy settings. Each plant will produce one white flower per stem. The Galanthus nivalis species will bloom just after Christmas if planted in the sun and given moist soil. Some snowdrop species are hardy to zone 2, but most are hardy to USDA zone 4. Plant your snowdrop bulbs in the fall.