Those cheerful plants that typically announce the coming of spring are also great for fall planting.
Although we tend to think of them as annual bedding plants, pansies are actually short-lived evergreen perennials that can overwinter here in the Midwest. Pansies prefer cool weather and grow easily in rich, moist well-drained soil with morning sun. Their wide variety of colors and bloom sizes make them a popular choice for both beds and containers. Smaller, well-established plants will tend to overwinter better than larger, less well-rooted plants. Light mulching, for example with evergreen boughs, can help to protect them during colder winters, but be careful not to mulch too early or too heavily as it can attract unwanted pests to the garden. Plant them in a sheltered location and watch for their bright faces next spring.