A word from Wilma
“Roses are red
violets are blue”
The beginning verses of a favorite poem written by Sir Edmond Spense in 1590 bring back childhood Valentine memories. Until red roses took over, violets were favored Valentine flowers. I had a horticulture professor who had worked in the greenhouse (he called them hot houses) and florist business and told of growing and delivering violets for Valentine’s Day.
Pansies are tough large-flowered hybrids developed from small-flowered violets. Violas are smaller-flowered, and the names are interchangeable. Pansies symbolize loving thoughts, and their flowers are sometimes compared to happy faces. Flowers are edible (unsprayed) and are used in salads and cake decorations.
Pansies are three-season plants flowering from mid/ late fall, winter (may droop in extreme cold but usually revive when temperatures warm), and into late spring. They do not like hot summer weather.
They prefer sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Pansies are now available at the Garden Center, and more are growing at the Farm greenhouses.