It's fall here in California and we all know what that means. It's Pansy planting time! They are one of my very favorite flowers. The trick here is to get them in the ground while it's still a little warm out. Then you keep them pinched back for a while so they don't get leggy. By spring you will have a riot of color and enough flowers for little vases throughout the house and also for pressing into dried arrangements. You can also plant stock, calendulas, cyclamen, snap dragons, iceland poppies and violas. I tuck a few bulbs such as paper whites and tulips in the pots before planting the flowers. Don't forget to put in your sweet pea seeds as well. Mine are starting to sprout already.
When it starts to fill in I'll show you my fall planter I did out front. Dulce de Leche Coral Bells is a variety with orange on the upper part of the leaves and purple underneath. I put it in a pot with black and orange pansies along with a couple small pumpkins. Sweet!
Since I have so many pots I'm able to rotate what I am planting without having to take out what is still blooming. My vinca, begonias and impatiens are still going strong while my fall flowers are just starting. When they freeze back in a month or two, I'll clean them out and tuck them into my nursery area. Then in the spring, I'll be able to re-plant them early without having to take out the pansies.
For some reason or other I have problems with one pot of pansies every year. Same pot, same pansies, same marauding Scotty digging them out and sitting in the pot. After what we've gone through with Maggie, through, I'm not saying a word to her. She can rest wherever she wants!