Pansy, The Flower With A Face

By Jannie Vaught

This sweet-faced flowering plant is one of the first to arrive from greenhouse growers as it is a cool weather plant, spring, and fall. They are swept up by eager gardeners and flower growers as we are weary with the winter blahs! And nature is true to us and gives us a bright colorful Pansy. Pansies are descendants of wild violet, Violets were grown in Europe as early as the 4th century B.C. Anciently the blossoms of violets were used in food sweet and savory. Candied Violets.

Today we are looking at the garden pansy, the one nestled in that flower pot by the door. They have heart-shaped overlapping petals, will grow in zones 2 through 9. They are both annual and perennial, they get leggy in the summer and are often removed for something else, but if you trim them short cover with leaf mulch they will return when it cools down and again next year. Or transplant them to a pot and place them in a shady place that will get watered and not forgotten and you can transplant them back into the garden come fall. Not getting watered regular is the #1 cause of failure for this plant. And deadhead or trim the old flowers off so it will re-flower. They can be started from seed 6 to 8 weeks prior to spring, But they are finicky and hard to start without that greenhouse skill, Plant the starts usually purchased with flowers in the early spring, which is right around the corner for us here in Central Texas.

These flowers will bring that “Fizz” back to your garden work. Edible flowers: Citrus blossom, clover, daisy, dandelions, hibiscus, honeysuckle, lavender, lilac, mums, nasturtiums, pansies, roses, sunflower, violets, zucchini, and sage flowers, are among the many to be used as a spicy beautiful topping to a green garden salad. Pansy history, to gargle with pansy tea was believed to cure a toothache. Pliney and Elder recommended that a garland of violets be worn on the head to ward off headaches and dizzy spells. The Celts made the dried leaves into a tea and used it both as a love potion and to cure a broken heart.

To plant pansies in the shape of a heart is a sure sign that they will flourish from folklore. No matter how or why you are planting the flower with a face to me it is just good to have flowers back in the garden.

Growing green with Jannie and out digging so I can plant pansies