I love them, too, but 2 things always get to me: one, the fact that they don’t winter over so well, and two, the cost of the seed–yikes! The one year I grew them, I think I did the Imperial Antique hybrid–in a single color, I think–and the Watercolor mix. They were beautiful, and for a year or two they sort of self-sowed, but eventually died out. My son planted the Icicle series of pansies last fall at the hospital where he works, and they came through the winter all right. But the hospital is at least one zone warmer than we are. Have you ever tried the Icicle series? In the January 2002 issue of Fine Gardening, Cynthia M. Rabinowitz states that they were bred for cold climates by a Canadian grower, Fernlea Flowers. According to her, if they are planted in the fall, they are guaranteed to bloom in the spring.
In its own way, frost may be one of the most beautiful things to happen in your garden all year . . . Don’t miss it. Like all true beauty, it is fleeting. It will grace your garden for but a short while this morning. . . . For this moment, embrace frost as the beautiful gift that it is.
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