As night time temperatures plummet, the tender annuals start to fade. Once frost hits, they will be gone.
I want color in the garden for as long as possible. I'm planting some mums, but they will probably be short lived. Pansies and flowering kale on the other hand could make it all the way through the winter.
These cold loving plants will provide beauty at least through Christmas.
Pansies come in a rainbow of colors, I found some nice looking black and gold varieties to plant in containers. I'll also be adding more colors as the season progresses. As soon as frost wipes out the annuals, pansies will be planted in their place.
The trick to keeping pansies happy for winter is to be sure they get the water they need before the ground freezes solid.
Flowering kale is another tough plant which will get more colorful as the days grow shorter and the temperatures fall. Planting them in a container which can be seen from the house will make you smile when the snow falls.
Here's a video of an appearance I did on Pittsburgh Today Live which shows some of the plants which love cold weather.