It’s still early, where I live. So far, only hellebores, chionodoxa and (waning) snowdrops are holding down the flower fort, with erythronium, scilla, species tulips and a few other bulbs on the way. Oh yeah, and then we always have the one (or two) iris reticulata and one (or two) eranthis. For some reason, these plants hate me. They are probably missing the summer baking they never get once the trees leaf out.
Of course, there are sadder things than a single Katherine Hodgkin blooming amid a little patch of leaf litter, but for a gardener, it’s pretty sad.
On the other hand, we were sitting in the back courtyard on Easter Sunday, with a veritable pollinator buffet going on before our eyes. All it took was five flats of violas and pansies I had picked up the day before, which were sitting on a table under a haze of buzzing wings. These will eventually be dispersed among potted tulips as well as given their own showcases. The bees will follow.
I love pansies. I use them in pots as far into the season as I can, first surrounding tulips and then mixed in – not quite as fortuitously – with high summer annuals. Eventually, I have to get rid of them when they get too leggy.
I always take care to buy these from a good local greenhouse; it seems to make a difference.
Viola odorata come up on their own in the ground; somebody on the block took a liking to these and they’ve been spreading freely for decades. I suppose saving these would be one of the purposes of not mowing if I had a lawn, but they don’t seem to need lawns. If there’s a crack in the sidewalk, they’ll take it. I do pull them up in late spring when they stop flowering, just to keep them under control. The earliest of them, in April, have a slight scent; after that, nothing.
With members of the viola family holding down the fort, pollinators have nothing to complain about around here. And I’d much rather have cheerful pots of pansies than a weedy lawn.
I love pansies. And violas. But down here in south-east Virginia, I have to plant them in early Fall. When early Spring comes they grow like crazy, but the June heat slowly takes them out. I plant Zinnia seeds between them in May.
I love pansies and violas. Up in northern Canada they’re good for spring and most of the summer. Even then, if you give them a haircut they’re usually ready to go again.
we too love our pansies and violas here in the pacific Northwest. I plant them in all my containers in the fall over several layers of tulips, daffs, and hyacinths. they are glorious this time of year. We used to sell something called “winter pansies” way back in the last millennium, but nowadays there is no difference. In the garden center we consider them a cool season annual and sell them in the fall and early spring. People ask for them year ’round though and it is my understanding that breeders continue to work on heat tolerance. They do get a little beat up in our long and very wet winters and can be susceptible to mildew and leaf spotting, but a little clean up this time of year and off they go with a whole new flush of happy faces. And, like you said, they reseed freely, often in the cracks between my pavers. Considering how tough they are, you have to wonder how they got the common name ‘pansy’.
Same here! Pansies are a staple Fall/winter bedding and container plant in North Texas. Funny, after some 25+ years in the nursery and landscaping business, I’ve had all the wax begonias I can tolerate for a lifetime and then some, but I have never, ever, tired of pansies and violas. They’re just so darn cheerful!
YES! You are now an honorary member of the Pansy Appreciation Society (& yes, I made that up)
OOO! May I be a member? My hand is raised! See! I do love pansies. I’ve had them overwinter even here in zone 5 in Maine. To me, they have sweet faces even if that is being anthropomorphic. They are colorful and some smell good and the bees do love them. So may I join too?