Category Archives: Annual Flowers

Perfect Pansies

I have a deep love of pansies.  I adore that they come in every color of the rainbow, which is unusual for an annual flower.  It is wonderful that they can be pure, or blotched or multicolored all on the same plant.  Have you ever looked at pansies when it is about to storm?  Try it, they absolutely glow.

Pansy Delta Premium Pure Lemon

What really sets them apart though is how charming cheerful they are.

Pansy Matrix Clear Mix

What can be seen as a drawback?  They are a cool season plant and in the Midwest we only get to enjoy them in spring and fall.  Oh I’ve done the experiments…transplanting them to the coolest shadiest parts of my yard to no avail.  They just peter out.  I actually like that they only shine twice a year.  It makes them all the more special.

It is thought that pansies are a close cousins to the viola, which has roots in Greece in the 4th century B.C.  However, they believe the first pansies were first found in France, because the word pansy is traced back to the French word pensee, meaning thought or remembrance.

Pansy Delta Lavender Blue

In the early 1800’s an inquisitive Lord Gambier and his gardener William Thompson began experimenting with crossing different varieties of pansies.  It is William Thompson who is accredited with removing long lines and created large blocks of color on the lower petals, created what is now known as “the face.”

Today popularity booms and most innovations are being made in Germany, Japan and the United States.

Pansy Matrix Midnight Glow

What is interesting is the amount of passion to innovate in this area.  It isn’t to create a drought free plant, or even one that is resistant to diseases or animals (which they are NOT).  The innovation, is to take something that was beautiful to begin with and make it even more so.

I for one am glad they are.

Donna Vignocchi Zych

President

Some of my favorite Bulbs for next Spring

I am a bulb junkie.  I think it may come from my mother’s love affair with tulips, hence her nickname for me actually being tulip.  I tend to stick to daffodils in my perennial beds and tulips in stand alone annual beds (something mom doesn’t agree with), however some of these beauties might have me changing my mind about planting them throughout my garden!

There really isn’t anything that complements the blooms of Crabapples, Serviceberries and Red Buds that herald Spring in with a flash of color like tulips.  But beware…if you have deer or bunnies, stick with Daffodils!

 

(Clockwise starting with the upper left: Best Pink, Hi Hat, Heart (for those Indiana Hoosier fans), Pink Cloud, Strike me Pink)

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For one of the most astonishing bulb displays that I personally have had the pleasure of visiting, check out Keukenhof Gardens in Holland.  It is a wonder to behold.