re: The pansy question. I guess I got in the habit of seeding them in early while working at a local nursery. Like all commercial growers, they were looking for early color to stimulate sales. It was by accident I found I could harden them off and plant them out a month before our last frost date, which is toward the last of May. And after reading the hint in The New Seed Starter Handbook, I’ve tried stretching it to six to seven weeks in a sheltered area. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m growing Can Cans and Flamencos this year and a couple of new varieties of viola. I’ll let you know what happens when I plant them out in April.
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
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