I haven’t tried the Icicles but I’ll look for the seed. (HA! see below). Pansy seed from the glossies is spendy, true, but Stokes comes through often for me as well as HPS (which is a quasi-pro seed co. now in the same conglomerate as Jungs, Totally Tomatoes, Seymours, Vermont Bean Seed Co, etc.). Vesey‘s in Canada ships to the US as well as Canada and the pansies they list as Snow Pansies may be the basis for the Icicles. Same claim to hardiness. Vesey’s pansy page lists several interesting varieties and good growing information for colder climates as well. I looked up the Icicle pansy and found that it is a copyrighted variety with its own website with lots of hype and sure to be expensive–sold only as plants (and none available w/in 500 miles of me!). I’ll stick with the Snow pansies (I think Stokes calls them hyemalis) and the cornutas (Arkwright Ruby, Chantreyland, Lake Thun, etc) which overwinter even in North Dakota and are dependably unexpensive.
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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