Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why We Plant Pansies in the Fall . . .

I love my pansies.    Whenever we first find them in late winter or early spring, I bring home at least two flats.   Tired of sad looking winter greens, the pansies are a bright spot of color that smiles as you, too!

But I also plant pansies in the fall -- not nearly as many -- not even a flat.    Some years we can't find the fall pansies but I'm always elated when we do!

The back window box gets planted with pansies and if there are any left over, a pot or two in the back garden.

My love of winter pansies came quite by accident.   Many many years ago, we were having a fall party and I had an old wheelbarrow (which is now the Fairy Garden) and I wanted to plant mums in the wheelbarrow so that pretty flowers would greet guests as they came to the party.     It was a mission for Husband Jim -- getting the plants as I was busy in the kitchen.

And he came home with a flat of pansies!     Not what I wanted at all.   I sighed and planted them -- grumbling I am sure about husbands not paying attention and how simple it was to get the one little thing that I asked for.

We had a mild winter and those pansies were a joy not only all winter long but far into the spring as well.   They bloomed their little hearts out until it got too hot for them.    

I did "eat crow" and apologized  to Husband Jim for he did make the right choice after all.

From that year on, fall pansies are planted at Linderhof!

This year, the winter has been mild -- many many days of temperatures in the 60's!    The pansies . . .
How can you not like a flower that smiles at you?

Have been blooming their hearts out.    It is always so nice to see them in the morning when I walk into the breakfast room.

They look like pure velvet.

We like a mix of colors especially in the fall.  

This pot is just made for pansies -- the summer annuals never look as good as the pansies in fall and winter!

And we did have enough left over for one of the planters.    This planter looks especially good with pansies in it!

This spring, I am sure, that perhaps I won't need two flats of pansies -- for the window box and the one planter should be ready for spring!

These happy little blooms in winter are the reason that I plant pansies in the fall.    It's a gamble -- a harsh cold winter and I get very little bloom in the fall before they're frozen out but a mild winter makes planting pansies the right choice!

And besides pansies in the garden, we love to use them in our food -- sprinkled on salads and decorating

Fresh pansies decorate a cake beautifully!

cakes and cupcakes.    Like the spring bulbs, pansies remind us that real spring shall be coming sooner rather than later!

It was a rather rainy drippy night, tonight.    But we need the moisture and we haven't heard the "S" word and perhaps this winter will be the snowless one!

I found a package of sirloin tips at the market on Sunday and put them in a marinate overnight.   It's from dear Friend Carolyn (Of A Southern's Notebook Fame) and she uses it mainly on London Broil (as do I) but I thought that the tips would be spectacular in the marinade.    I was right.     Carolyn gave me the recipe a long time ago -- with the understanding that I would tell no one.    And I didn't.    But then she's posted about it HERE so I'm silenced no more!

A big plate of the marinated sirloin tips with peppers and onions.    Leftovers shall be served at room temperature as a topping for a salad of baby greens topped with a shower of Bleu cheese.

It's Wednesday and I'm sharing my pansies with Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.


On Crooked Creek said...

Your pansies are blooming lovely @ Linderfhof! Leave to our husbands to show us real beauty...sometimes! Ha! It snowed here on the Prairie this evening...just enough to dust the top of the railings! I've waited for this day!

Entertaining Women said...

We love pansies down to your south, too! They are wonderful through the fall, and they last all the way to impatien planting time. Thanks so much for the link to the marinade. I'll give it a try. Cherry Kay

Blondie's Journal said...

I like to plant pansies in the interval between my annuals and fall mums. They brighten up my porch and as you say, smile at me!


Patti said...

Here in Atlanta pansies are THE winter annual. We plant them all over. I especially like them in planters. Don't forget to "deadhead" the old blooms. They'll just keep on blooming...

Jocelyn said...

I just love pansies. We have just started seeing them here in Florida, so I picked up a flat and planted them this past weekend. I hope the weather holds out so we can enjoy them for a little while.

Jocelyn @

Pondside said...

Pansies really do smile, don't they! I have a tiered planter in the drive and I love to fill it with sunny pansies to make visitors (and me!) smile.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

I usually plant them in the fall too, but did not get them in this year..but they would of been dug up anyway with the water line repair.
I know when I see them that spring is here!

Deb said...

They are my favorite out-door plant. I plant them as early as I can in pots at the front door. So inviting.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I absolutely adore pansies too! They're the first thing that will go into the planters outside our front door in the early spring. How lucky you are to have had weather mild enough to keep those faces smiling all winter.

Off to find that recipe :)

Southerncook said...

Every year I plant pansies in the Fall since we definitely have a milder winter than in your area and this year our winter has been so very mild. This year they didn't get planted, I haven't been able to do much gardening because of my hips. My shots that I got just before Christmas wore off in Jan. (bummer). Sooooooo, I truly enjoyed your post about your pansies.

I often use that marinade for sirloin tips for shish kabobs but do the meat separately on a skewer. I am so glad to know that you like that marinade as much as we do.


william said...

So pretty, Martha! I saw a very pretty and I thought unusual grouping of pansy colors while in the Dallas area in January. I think it included the deep red-purple, the midnight purple (the darkest one, almost black) and that gorgeous saffron color like Buddhist monks' robes (not the lemon yellow). No white and no other bright colors besides the saffron. The combination was very saturated, rich, and somehow satisfying to the eye.