Gobble, gobble, West Coast gardeners! Who’s got turkey dinner on the brain? It seems that as soon as the weather gets cool and we see our first orange autumn leaves, we start planning for the exciting event of Thanksgiving dinner! Who’s going to be invited, what new dishes will we try, should I get a new tablecloth and will I use paper or cloth napkins? When in-laws and friends are involved it can all get quite stressful! What do we suggest? How about some zen time in the garden before the big event?
You might think gardening is has come to a close for the year, what with the temperatures dropping and the end to many blooming seasons. However there are definitely some fall and winter gardening activities to indulge in this autumn. Namely - plant those Thanksgiving pansies ! Let us give you the skinny on exactly how to get your garden in tip-top shape for the Thanksgiving holiday with three easy tips! Before you reach for the guest towels, reach for the garden trowel!
Just like your relatives Pansies and Violas come in a wide variety of shapes, personalities and colours; from pinks and purples to more subtle oranges. Although they can all be planted together in a cluster of bright colours, you can also pick-and-choose for a more planned palette. Decide if you want autumn colours like orange, yellow and rusty reds or whether you’d be happier with whites, purples, pinks and fuchsias. Most nurseries sell six-packs of matching colours or you can pick out your own.
Being the Perfect Host
You’re in-laws may be a bit picky about the thermostat and whether they get the east facing bedroom, however Pansies are a lot more forgiving. New and improved varieties have sprung forth that can endure cold, wet and dark winter months and still bloom beautifully. The pansy variety Cool Wave can survive temperatures as low as -20’C.
Even though these gorgeous blooming plants can live in less-than-ideal conditions, we think you’ll find they thrive and perform even better when you follow these three easy steps.
- Guests like a fluffy cozy bed, and pansies do too. It’s best to plant them in raised garden beds or pots. This way their roots don’t stay wet too long in the rain or snow.
- A sunny south facing location creates an ideal light environment for these plants, giving them a better chance to impress you with colourful blooms. Stay away from super shady areas.
- A big buffet breakfast will keep your house-guests happy, but your Pansies would rather have well drained soil and fresh compost. Add in the compost when you first plant, along with some slow-release fertilizer to keep them well fed with little effort (if only it was so easy to be the hostess!) An inch or two of mulch spread around your plants will also help keep them warm during the colder winter months.
Ready for Thanksgiving?
Although we definitely want you to have a gorgeous yard for those Thanksgiving guests and holiday events, there’s another reason to plant your pansies beforehand. Planting later than Thanksgiving means colder weather, and the roots of your new plants might not thrive or have time to become established before the cold frosts hit. Having a few pansy plants in the back of your garden, or in pots, as backups for plant losses during the winter months can help fill any holes in your displays.
The best part about Thanksgiving pansies is that they love finding homes in pots and containers, so it’s easy to surround your doorstep or patio with these colourful bloomers to welcome everyone to your home. Check out our pinterest board of ideas for your fall front door. (Including lots of great pansy displays!)
Set yourself up for next spring while you make gorgeous planters for fall!! We've got the perfect recipe for planters that keep blooming all autumn, winter and spring, check out our DIY video.