Pansies and Petunias

July 21, 2002

Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! Believe it or not, when I bought flowers for my garden this spring, I accidentally got pansies instead of the petunias I thought I was buying. They were all together, so I just grabbed a variety of colors, not realizing that I grabbed the flats that held pansies. I did get some beautiful deep pink petuniasóbut the rest were pansies. Well, they were pretty, too, so I didnít mind.

It has been interesting comparing the pansies and petunias this summer, which has not been very kind to my flowers. First, soon after I got them in the middle of May, we had a killing frost, so I had to keep them indoors for a week till I was able to plant them. The petunias didnít mind, but the pansies got long and scraggly. Then I finally got them planted. The pansies were so exquisite, so bright and colorful yet dainty and soft and velvety. They almost made my pretty pink petunias look plain and boring. So I anticipated a beautiful garden this summer.

Then it went from winter to 90 degrees. Then the grasshoppers moved in. Then it went from 90 degrees to 100 degrees. I did my best to keep my flowers alive, faithfully watering and doing my best to shoo off the grasshoppers (not that it made any difference, but it made me feel better!). The pansies first wilted in the heat, then got eaten down to stalks by the grasshoppers, leaving bare patches in most of my garden. Meanwhile, the pink petunias continued to bloom thickly, strong and gorgeous. The pansies were beautiful, but not for me. Next year I am putting most of my garden into petuniasóand I will make sure it is petunias that I buy!

Itís really not fair to compare the two. The delicate pansies were never meant to be subjected to the kind of abuse my garden has taken this year. They needed more shade, more protection, fewer grasshoppers. In a more temperate summer, they would have been fine. In fact, the few that have survived as sticks poking out of the dirt that was my flower garden are bravely trying to green up again, and one or two have actually bloomed! I have to admire that. StillÖ I think from now on I will admire the pansies in other peoplesí gardens, and put the petunias in my own. There is the strength that gamely tries to recover after being beaten down, and there is the strength that simply will not be beaten down. While I deeply respect the pansies, I guess Iím just more of a petunia-type person.
 

Wyndspirit Dreams
 meadowlark@wyndspirit.com
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