Saturday, April 11, 2009

Proven losers


That’s what pansies are in my garden. They look good for a few weeks, and then get all leggy, stop producing blooms, or simply die. Yet, I keep buying them (right, definition of insanity).


This year my plan is to plant them out very early, which is now. Daffodils are only beginning to pop in our area, as you see above. I figure I’ll get the most out of them before the trees fully leaf out. They seem to require much more sun than they’re advertised to require.


They are pretty though. I bought some common white ones, shown at top, and some fancy types (fancy in looks, names, and price), which are very showy, and which I already distrust intensely. I expect they’ve been on the shelf a bit too long, but hopefully they maintain their usefulness through tulip season. Then they’ll be replaced by shade annuals.


But there are many plants that have short seasons of beauty, like cherry trees (my forced branches above) tulips, mock orange, certain antique roses—far too many to list, and I buy and grow a lot of them. For some reason, the only ones I really resent are pansies. Perhaps because they do last longer for other gardeners.

16 comments:

Sheila said...

Pansies do well for me, in the sun or shade. But there are many other annuals that I just can't grow well! Doesn't it just drive you crazy?!

Heather's Garden said...

My problem with pansies is that they're just too small to do much visually unless you have a ton of them. Very pretty up close, but not a lot of bang for your buck. So I wait for petunias.

Donalyn said...

I fall for the pretty faces every year. I buy the cheapies, keep them dead headed till I can't stand it anymore, and then cut them back nearly to the ground when they get to be looking too ratty - they usually come up someplace else the next year!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I don't mind if the Pansies melt in the heat, as they're one of the few annuals that can stand up to frost. Getting a month or two out of them is worth it when there's nothing else that would work then.

Brenda Jean said...

I love pansies too, and a couple years in a row they did fantastic for me; I bragged about it infact! Then last year they got all leggy and did poorly. I was so disappointed, but as you said, I'll buy them again:) They are so dang cheerful. How can we resist?

Layanee said...

Pansies make most gardeners and non-gardeners smile don't they? Cheery faces however brief.

Cindy, My Corner of Katy said...

I hope this year the pansies will last longer for you. You might try some of the Sorbet Violas, too.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

We all have our challenges, don't we? Pansies tend to get eaten here, but yet the Johnny Jump Ups remain prolific and unscathed. And beloved, too; they were a fave of my grandmother so I let them free-range. Pansies, alas, like to twist my heart but I try them every year too, in spite of their naughtiness. Join me in the mantra, "maybe this year..."

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have a love/hate realtionship with pansies too. I have tried growing them over winter, by seed etc. I now consider them a temporary spring splash of color. I treat them like a vase of cut flowers. Once the heat and humidity arrives here I just rip them out.

Carol said...

I love pansies and violas. They are the 1st flower I can 'bed out' in the spring, and they usually look decent until around the 4th of July... so I get at least 3 to 3 1/2 months out of them. That's pretty darn good in the flower world!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Gail said...

Zone 7 here with no snow cover! I plant sorbet Violas (I like them better) in the fall and they grace our gardens all winter...They do seem to require some kind of food to keep up the mad growth! Once the heat arrives they melt away, if we're lucky they leave a few seeds behind.

Kerri said...

I was just smiling over Carol's mantra, and clicked over to see what inspired her :)
The pansies at my favorite nursery are not quite ready yet, but as soon as they are I'm going to bring some home and plant them straight away.
I usually procrastinate until they get leggy. Not this year! This will be the year I do it right...by hook or by crook!
Happy spring, Elizabeth! Isn't it wonderful? My daffs are just beginning to bloom too :)

Kerri said...

P.S. Those cherry blossoms are delightful!

Nancy said...

for me it's petunias..go figger.

chicago dyke said...

LOL!

for some reason, that cracked me up. "proven losers." oh, yeah, i know all about that. 1/3season violets, leggy, ugly petunias...you have to be so careful buying from the corporate chains.

thanks for the laugh.

lisa said...

Pansies do great for me, and bloom all summer and well into fall...it must be the cool Wisconsin nights. They almost never get leggy, and if they do I just cut them back and they get bushier. Now as for coleus, impatiens, and begonias-one extra cool night, and they're goners!