Nursery workers busy with plants that thrive in the cold

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. -- Even on a bright, sunny late November day, there's so much to do that the staff at Mitchell's Nursery and Greenhouse can lose track of time.

"I haven't had time to put my pansies in," nursery co-owner Jim Mitchell said. "Hopefully in the next week or two I'll get some in."

The fall and winter are still busy times at Mitchell's. This time of the year people are looking for flowering plants like pansies, violas and Johnny jump ups.

"This will have the smaller blooms with two to three times the number per plants compared to others," Mitchell said.

Folks are willing to spend time planting during the cool season because they want to see color when the winter sky turns gray.

"I just love to see that pansy showing its little face especially if you have snow on the ground," co-owner Judy Mitchell said. "Nothing is hardier than a pansy."

Instead of fighting the summer heat and expensive water bills, shrubs and trees are also popular picks because you can save money by planting them during the cool season. Customers at Price Nursery are also looking forward to a colorful scene when the winter blues set in.

"The weather is pretty bleak and a lot of nasty weather in January and February," gardener Henry Harrison said. "It's good to have pansies and cabbages to add color."