The Pansies of Autumn
It is my contention that Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) are underused, and Chrysanthemums overused, as fall annuals.
I’ve purchased several flats of orange Pansies this fall. I think they look appropriately seasonal.
Of course, they look better bunched together in a flat than they do when they are first planted out. However, they gradually fill in the space around them. Pansies like cool weather and tolerate light frosts. In my experience their blooms last longer than those of Chrysanthemums.
Chrysanthemums are not really annuals, but that is how they are used by the million: purchased as a dense floral mound in a pot, then thrown away. I’ve never really liked Chrysanthemums, but I bought a few this year anyway. I wish now that I hadn’t.
I’ve always considered Chrysanthemums a rather stiff and artificial-looking flower. It’s hard to put into words why I feel that way, I just do. They are also vulnerable to a number of pests.
I considered calling this post “Chrysanthemums Are Stupid”. It occurred to me, however, that such a title may not be consistent with the elegant prose for which this blog is known.
I wondered if it was worth buying autumn annuals at all. They could all be blasted by a hard frost and that would be the end of them. However, we haven’t had a frost yet (October 15th is traditionally considered the average first frost date here) and temperatures aren’t predicted to go anywhere near freezing for the next ten days. So what the heck.
Have you planted any Pansies or Chrysanthemums for fall?