As we approach our growing season, we start to see lots of plants make their way in the garden centres. Everyone’s itching to get our hands dirty and working. A plant that’s absolutely fantastic to get started with are pansies.
In our climate, pansies are considered annuals, but they’re known to reseed themselves quite well and can occasionally show up next year as a volunteer flower. They grow well in cooler temperatures meaning they’ll bloom the most in spring and autumn. They’re a great choice to start with for that reason. There are many different varieties out there such as the trailing Cool Wave pansies. These are made by the same company that produces wave petunias and can make great hanging baskets fillers. We also have other lovely varieties like Frizzle Sizzle, which have very iconic ruffled petals and rich inner colouring. Then there’s the Matrix and Majestic Giants II. These have the largest flowers of the bunch. Matrix has solid flat colours, whereas Majestic Giants have that classic face patterning in the middle.
Pansies like to be in the full sun during the spring and autumn, but during middle of summer it might be best to move them to part shade. Since they grow better in cooler temperatures, this can also help keep a few flowers growing even when it gets to plus 40. They make great companion flowers with snapdragons, dusty miller, and osteospermum. This will surely help bring some vibrant colours as we continue to transition to full spring.
Some people may not know this, but pansies are also edible. The flowers have a slight floral scent and taste. Because of this, they also pair well with salad gardens that includes spinach, lettuce, arugula, cabbage, and kale. These flowers are a really good choice to add to your garden and will help speed up the spring vibe as well as slow down the autumn fall off.