This is the perfect time to plant pansies and violas. Photos by Doug Oster
Pansies and violas are usually the first "annuals" planted in the garden.
It's still going to get really cold some days, all the way up until mid-May, but these plants can take anything Mother Nature has left.
In my garden there are some fall planted pansies which have overwintered in containers close to the house. They look a little tired and will need a few days of good weather to really get them going.
I've added some new plants to make the containers pop.
Since pansies are cool loving plants, they will need lots of water and some shade as the season progresses. Mine usually give up around July fourth.
When that happens I'll head down to the nursery and substitute other shade loving annuals. By that time they have been discounted, usually half price. Those plants will thrive until frost and then I'll plant pansies again.
My fist planting this season was on March 15th, then again on March 30 and I planted some in the last couple days. I'll probably get one more flat to add too. Before I do that though, I need to figure out how my chickens are escaping their run. They love pansies, even more than a rabbit would!
The succession planting of pansies gives me color for a long time. Five months in the spring, Four or five more months in summer and then at least two or three more during the fall and winter. When you consider some will stay all winter, there's color almost year round.
I love playing with the color combinations, there are no wrong choices.
Pansies and violas are bright and cheery and get spring started on the right foot.
I got these pots on sale at a Rite Aid last fall, they were almost giving them away. The watering can was a Christmas gift from my radio partner Jessica Walliser. I love it!
Spruce up the entryway to the house with pansies and violas. They will benefit from being close to the house. They get protection from the wind and the warmth of the house will keep them happy when it's cold.
One lone blue viola in a sea of yellow. Doesn't it make you happy?