We all want dramatic curb appeal in our landscapes and colorful pansies are the perfect choice. Pansies are one of the garden’s most versatile and easiest-to-grow flowers, bringing charm and cheer to the fall and spring garden. These hardy annuals can actually make it through frosts — and even single-digit temperatures — and some varieties rebound in the spring. The hardest part about growing pansies is choosing the color! Nowadays, you can select from hundreds of varieties in a rainbow of colors and growing habits. From dainty, 1-inch flowers to fluffy, 4-inch blossoms, pansies can grow petite and compact or trail in petunia-like waves. Colors range from solids in white, yellow and blue to two-tones, tricolors, and purples so rich, they appear black. Whatever your preference, there's a pansy to suit. When it comes to planting pansies in the landscape, the possibilities are endless. Here are few ways to incorporate these cool-weather annuals into your landscape.
If you’re looking for unique ways for livening up you landscape, why not get a little creative with container gardening? Containers come in and endless supply of colors, shapes, and sizes and add an extra dose of visual interest to the landscape with the freedom to rearrange your layout. Place them exactly where you want- near entryways, walkways, outdoor sitting areas, then move them around when you want to change things up. And, containers don’t have to be on the ground. You can also use hanging baskets in the landscape. Hang baskets from a tree or use a Shepherd's hook to add a little splash of color up high or wherever you like.
Color blocking is simply using plants of one color or complementary shades to create an eye-catching effect in the landscape. Pick key areas around your home to plant in blocks of color, and remember, for greater impact, the more the merrier. Plant blocks of pansies outside a kitchen window or add 10 to 12 in front of an entryway to welcome family and friends.
TIP: When doing blocks of color in the landscape, choose one color. Too many bright plants can quickly turn from eye-catching to eyesore. One big block of color is soothing to the eye whereas mixing colors can appear chaotic.
HIGHLIGHT A GARDEN FEATURE OR CREATING A FOCAL POINT
Focal points are used in garden design to draw and direct the eye. Plant clusters of pansies around a focal point like a garden bench or anything that you want to feature like a fountain, statue, or birdbath. You can also plant opposing drifts (or swales) in a single color on either side of a focal point. Select complimentary colors like purple and yellow or red and yellow when creating drifts of color in the landscape.
Everything looks better when it's framed, whether it's a picture or a garden path. Pansy borders are a great way to infuse color and create boundaries between the garden and the lawn or walkway.
Pansies are perfect for filling in the gaps in beds, borders, or flower gardens. Alternate pansies with other plants in the landscape, for example, alternate liriope or hosta with a single pansy. When single spacing, we also recommend using a single color to create and organized and finished look.
TIP: Always remember O before P (OCTOBER before PANSIES) and resist the temptation to purchase these pretty, little pansy faces before it’s time. Premature planting when temperatures are too warm may result in yellowing leaves and makes them vulnerable to frost damage or pest and disease issues.
To learn about growing pansies in containers click here