Hardy mums and pansies add color to the fall landscape

We are enjoying an absolutely gorgeous fall with the first signs of fall color showing on Bald Cypress and a few of our other trees and vines. It is a great time to overseed tall fescue lawn seed if you want a green lawn through the winter and early spring. The hardy mums are spectacular right now as they deliver mounds of color to our fall landscape. The mums will generally stay pretty until our first hard freeze in early to mid November.

Now is the season to start adding pansies to your landscape. They are one of the most remarkable plants as they lift their cute flower faces up to liven our yards and container gardens all through the winter and early spring. It is always fun to enjoy their yellow, white, orange, burgundy, blue and majestic purple flowers as they bloom even during snow and ice storms. Some pansies and their close cousins, violas, produce solid color flowers but many produce flower faces with the lower or jaw petals in one color and the upper or eye petals in another color which creates a really fun and colorful floral display. The pansies are available at your local nursery in many sizes but most are grown in an 18 count cell that is 3 ¼” to 4” square and makes a nice size plant to transplant into your porch urns, patio pots or front flower beds. I love to plant pansies along sidewalks and in front flower beds to help cheer me up through the winter when I leave the house or come home.  These tough little plants do best in the fall or winter garden when planted in the full sun. They will start to wither and run out of energy next spring and finally surrender or melt in our hot summer heat but they perform like few other plants during the freezing season from November to April each year. Once you have planted pansies in your garden and marveled at their ability to flourish and flower while most of the rest of the plant world is frozen or hibernating you will want to plant them and enjoy their winter charms each succeeding year. You can experiment with different colors, different faces, small or large flowered varieties but do plant some pansies and see if they don’t become one of your favorites.

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