By October, annual beds in the Atlanta area are looking a
bit weary. The Marigolds have grown spindly, the Begonias are starting to fade
and the Sweet Potato vines have seen better days. What to do? Well, you could
just clear your beds and mulch for winter and be done. Or, you could keep your bed colorful from fall
through the next spring. We suggest keeping your garden colorful all year long.
Pansies and their tiny cousins, violas, look delicate but are tough little annuals. They can take short periods of cold, even snow, and bounce right back. Plant them between October 1 and October 15 when the soil has cooled enough. They want 45° to 60° soil for their roots to grow comfortably. Pansies like a sunny spot where violas can tolerate a bit more shade.
The colors available will suit almost any design. White, blue,
yellow, purple, red-solid blooms and blooms with “blotches” of contrasting
color in the center and many shades and tones in between will brighten any fall
through spring landscape.Another
wonderful thing about pansies and violas is, if they are grown without harsh
pesticides, the blossoms are edible!
Yellow violas with tough annual greens like “Bright Light” Swiss Chard that features yellows and reds and oranges along with Red Mustard which supplies a crinkly texture and good height to the planting.
Pair together trailing Pansies and Violas of all colors combined with Snapdragons for height and ornamental Cabbages for texture.
Consider planting a cool weather vegetable bed full of edible greens with Pansies and Violas planted around the edge.
12 clean viola or pansy blooms
1 whisked egg white
Pick the blooms right before you’re ready To start . Using a small paintbrush, coat the blooms one at a time with the egg wash. Holding the coated bloom in your fingers or with tweezers, dust with the sugar, shaking off the excess. Dry on waxed paper for at least 12 hours. Store in an airtight container with waxed paper or parchment paper between layers of blooms. Use as a garnish for cakes, cookies, candies, use your imagination and have fun!