By Jessie Jacobson

As the days get longer and the sun is grows stronger, here in Minnesota, we are starting to see signs of spring. A sure sign of spring is the arrival of pansies and violas at Tonkadale Greenhouse. Who can resist those sweet faces? They smell amazing too! With colors ranging from pale yellows to vibrant purples to punchy oranges, these darlings are nothing short of tough and tolerant.

Pansies and violas can tolerate temperatures as low as 28 degrees F and don’t mind a little snow on their heads. Here’s to hoping we don’t see snow in April or dare we say May this year.

Tonkadale Greenhouse pansies

So you may be wondering what to plant with your pansies and violas to make things more interesting. Well, we are glad you asked. There are many cold-tolerant annuals that fare well in combination with these blotch faced beauties. Some of our favorites are Acorus Grass, Lysimachia, Algerian Ivies and English Ivy. Lettuces, kale, parsley and chives make good companions as well. Additionally, these items make a lovely salad and pansy flowers add a wonderful garnish.

Greens for Tonkadale Greenhouse pansies

Top from left: English Ivy Gold Child, Algerian Ivy Neon, Algerian Ivy Marengo. Bottom from left: parsley and chives, Acorus Grass, Lysimachia.Goldilocks

Over the weekend, I decided to take the plunge and plant pansies in my containers, knowing that I may have to cover them or bring them into the garage for a night or two.

Tonkadale Greenhouse containers for pansies

First I gathered my supplies…

Tonkadale Greenhouse supplies for planting pansies

These include, from front to back: Foxtail Fern, Neon Algerian Ivy, Pussy Willows, Curly Willow, Tonka Terra Potting Soil, three 12-inch pansy bowls featuring Matrix Tricolor Mix – Clear Light Blue, Clear Yellow and Dark Purple; yellow yulips, blue hydrangeas.

Keep in mind that the yellow tulips and blue hydrangeas are hot house varieties that are not intended to be planted in the garden. They hold their color and flower while the weather is cool and add a fun flair to a mixed pansy planter

Next, I filled my pots with fresh potting soil.

Now comes the fun . . . the pansy planting party.

I set the hydrangea towards the back left hand side of my pot and the entire pansy bowl towards the front right hand side of my pot.

Tonkadale Greenhouse planting pansies: a start

After that, I strategically planted the tulips, right in their pots, on either side of the pansy bowl.

Tonkadale Greenhouse pansy party: adding tulips

I had my helper plant two foxtail ferns in the middle of the pot and three Neon Algerian Ivies around the outside.

Tonkadale Greenhouse: A helper with the pansies

Ta Da!

Tonkadale Greenhouse pansy planting: more flowers

But that’s not all….for the finale, I inserted bunches of curly willow and pussy willows in the center of the pot.

Tonkadale Greenhouse pansy planting: Finished!

Now that’s a party…

Tonkadale Greenhouse: enjoying the pansies

Plant the Planet!