Photo from the Icicle Pansy site.
Every year, right around now, near the end of the gardening season, we
northern gardeners are being tempted by racks of very pretty six-packs that go
by the name of “icicle” or “winter” pansies. The legend goes that you plant
these in the ground now, enjoy them for a couple weeks (the
rebloom is slow, as with many pansies), and then they will miraculously appear
again in the spring.
Never mind that the pansies certainly do not bloom anytime
near icicle season (that is, if you care to don your parka to take a look).
That’s just silliness in the service of a memorable name. I get that. What
bothers me is that I can barely get the sturdy perennials I plant at this time to survive
the winter, much less flimsy and temperamental pansies. Believe me, I’ve tried them—no
luck. Snow cover cannot be depended on throughout the entire winter; you can
always count on a freak thaw, especially in recent years, and continuous snow
cover is what these require. Or something. (Virginia is what I think they require.)
If the plants gave even a month-long show before crapping
out, that would be one thing. But no.
Nonetheless, last week, I bought some. I had a purpose,
which will be revealed in Thursday’s post.
So again, winter pansy marketers—what do you take me for?
Don’t answer that.