Our Favorite Winter Annual ~ Pansies

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Here at Ravenscourt Gardens we plant and trial many plants. Mostly we plant perennials and evergreens. We have a mix of natives and acclimated. We do leave a special spot for annuals. Along our front side walk we have two long beds with Dwarf Yaupon Holly at the back and Zephyranthes  aka Rain lilies at the front. In between we plant annuals. In the summer you will see lots of multi-color Caladiums, great summer color and we get the best bulbs from Easy To Grow Bulbs Co. 20180805_103501 (2) In autumn we plant Pansies. They have been a favorite of mine all my life. I love their rich beautiful colors, happy open faces and velvet petals. Pansies are in the genus Viola, with 400+ species, part of the Violaceae family. Originally cultivated in Europe, they became popular in the States in the late 1800’s. Living in a Victorian home moves me to plant at least some flowers that could have been around when the house was new. The origin of the word “Pansy” comes from French, “pensée” meaning remembrance or thoughts.  I like that idea!img_20190128_111123_0895568886381079322626.jpgThis time we chose Matrix Pansies. We planted 12 flats in early November. We put down a nice bed of compost/mulch and then planted them into it. Matrix pansies come in several rich colors. The flowers are around 3 ” in size with little 8 inch bright green mound of leaves. They can be blotched in more than one color or solid. We got these beauties at JJL Greenhouse, inc. a fabulous place in Houston to get annuals. It is a “wholesale only” nursery and our go to place for annuals. I got 8 flats of Pansy Matrix Clear Mix and then because I have favorite colors, I got 2 flats of Blue and 2 flats of Scarlet. For more information on pansies, their history and background check out Bug Woman – Adventures in London her blog inspired this post.

We have been playing to get the amount and color right for years. I am super pleased with the results this year. They did get off to a late start blooming, but I am hoping that means they will last till April again. 20190128_1049068573415165711225138.jpg Pansies are cold weather plants in Houston good from late fall to early spring. Last year our pansies lasted well into spring. So what could be a 4 season bed has turned in to a change twice a year bed. We do plant a few other annuals around the garden to keep it pretty through the winter. Looking at my invoice I see along with the pansies we bought, Snow Crystal Alyssum, Lobelia Magadi Indigo Blue and Pigeon Red Cabbage.

In the bed on the right the annuals are place holders. I can’t figure out what I want to plant there!

Happy Gardening from Laurin and Shawn