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.
In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.
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