Pansies

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Oh, I love pansies. I have been on a quest the past few years to find the hardiest varieties available as they used to be more reliable to overwinter. Turns out the majority of pansy breeding is now done in Japan which is mild by Idaho standards but Stokes and some others still produce some varieties which over winter well here. This year I am trialling several more too. I usually sow them in March if it is just for me but to grow for market I sow them in January; my crop is only now budding a bit and the first Market is Saturday! Aiee!

About the Author

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4b/5aLocation: rural; just south of British Columbia/Idaho borderGeographic type: foot of Black & Clifty Mountains (foothills of Rockies–the Wet Columbia Mountains in BC climate- speak)Soil type:acid sand (glacial lake bed)/coniferous forestExperience level: intermediate/professionalParticular interests: fragrant & edible plants, hardy bulbs, cottage gardening, alpines, peonies, penstemons & other blue flowers, primulas, antique & species roses & iris; nocturnal flowers Also: owner of Paradise Gardens Rare Plant Nursery

What differentiates a bulb from a perennial plant is that the nourishment for the flower is stored within the bulb itself.…There is something miraculous about the way that a little grenade of dried up tissue can explode into a complete flower.

~Monty Don in The Complete Gardener pp. 142

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