While much of the rest of the country is white with snow, Californians can still delight in a variety of winter-blooming flowers.
In Zone 1, along the walkway and protected by the front steps, winter-blooming bergenia (Bergenia crassifolia) sends up flower stalks in January. This isn't a native plant. However this small patch was planted here when we moved into the house years ago. A native of the Himalayas, they thrive in poor soil and tolerate drought in a shady location. Under the steps seems the perfect location for them, and occasionally, native slender salamanders can be found in the leaf litter that builds up beneath the plants.