Right now we are in one of the worst winters I have seen in a while. I am so tired of snow + cold now that it is a joy to start my spring Historic Pansy Mix ( Viola × wittrockiana) inside under lights.I know some people have had them winter over in their garden, but I have not yet observed wintering over in my gardens. Our winters are just too harsh!
I have learned over the years the best way to start pansies from seed is to sow them on top of the seedling soil + keep them in the dark until they first emerge. I keep them moist + covered until they start showing their first leaves above the ground.
This works every time + by 2 weeks I have many of them emerging. Once the first seed pokes through the soil, I set them under lights. I read this little trick somewhere, and it works like a charm. I placed them very carefully in handmade paper pots, and they don’t mind a bit!I usually put the tray back under the lights for an extra week to let some of the slower ones finish germinating, but if you wanted to save seed for traits, you might want to take only the early germinating seeds!
I love edging most of my spring garden beds with Historic Pansy Mix. They just make me smile every time I walk by!
Over the years, pansies have been one of the most cultivated plants that we really don’t know what the original flowers look like anymore, and the past few years I have grown some of the newer types that just don’t have the beauty this Historic Pansy Mix sprinkles across my spring gardens.
I love pansies since they are edible and work perfectly dressing a spring salad!
I am thankful we are blessed with a seedsman as Kees Sahin that take the time to keep a historical flower around which connects us to our past. He passed away in 2006, so I am grateful he made sure we had this historic mix.
Kees Sahin kept a collection of 13,000 violas in the Netherlands. He selected this mixture to resemble those grown by gardeners more than 150 yrs ago.
I can’t imagine spring without these beautiful faces smiling back at me each day!
Smiling like skin horse….