Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Unexpected Bouquet

One of my volunteer assignments last Saturday was to snap *all* of the flowers off 5,000+ pansies. Apparently, they aren't needed yet and if the petals drop while they are in the greenhouse, fungal issues can happen. When it was all over, a trash can was almost filled with pansy flowers.

I don't think I've ever seen a sadder sight.

Pansies are so cheerful. In the winter, they are the most cheery part of a landscape really: their happy little faces peep out through the snow. Flowers have meaning (thanks Victorians!) and, unsurprisingly, "pansies" are said to reflect merriment and "you occupy my thoughts." The name comes from the French pensée meaning "thought", and was so named because the flower resembles a human face. The modern pansy's parents were English weeds. Pretty weeds, but weeds nonetheless! Unfortunately, I cannot grow them as they are a favorite treat of the neighborhood bunnies. Hateful creatures.

I couldn't let those numerous pansies be cut down, in the prime of their lives, for no good reason. I save several handfuls to take home. My favorite, out of the half-dozen or so varieties in the greenhouse, was Delta Pure Primrose. It was a large white, billowing off-white flower with a warm yellow center and the scent of a rose. Yes! A fragrant pansy! At least, it smells good to my nose.....


  1. You know the flowers are edible, too? Assuming they haven't been sprayed, of course.

  2. Yes! I flirted with that idea, but I didn't know how they were grown so I decided not to risk it. I tried to grow my own this year & the neighborhood bunnies chewed them down to the ground. :(