by Connie Oswald Stofko
Pansies in blues, purples, yellows and oranges are displayed on long tables outside Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville.
The exciting word in that sentence is “outside.”
“When we put them out (on display), we’re confident that they’re ready to be out, and to stay out,” said Mark Yadon, vice president of Mischler’s. “We usually put them out the first week of April, but this year we’re doing them a little earlier.”
The pansies were out last week already. Compare that to last year, when the pansies were ready the first week of April, but they could be grown only in containers because the ground was still frozen.
This year you can not only display pansies in pots, you can plant them in the ground as long as the soil in your garden can be worked. If you scoop up some soil and it’s crumbly, you can work it. If you squeeze it and it forms a glob, it’s too wet.
If you drive through the Village of Williamsville, you can see pots of pansies supplied by Mischler’s to the Village Preservation Society.
“It’s the first sign of spring,” Yadon said.
You can get pansies at Mischler’s in hanging baskets, various sized containers and flats.
Pansies are a cool weather annual. They don’t mind cool temperatures and they can tolerate some frost. That’s why you can put a pot of pansies out now and leave it out.
There will be more cool weather annuals ready in about a week to 10 days, Yadon said. Those include osteospermum daisies, diascia, nemesia, snapdragons and some petunias.
Remember that those are plants that can take the cold and some frost. You can’t plant tender annuals, such as coleus, mandevilla, sweet potato vine, begonias or marigolds, until the threat of frost has passed. In Western New York, the rule of thumb is to wait until Memorial Day to put those out. Even if we have a string of warm, even hot, days at the beginning of May, we could still get a frost, so don’t be fooled.
In a week to 10 days from now, Mischler’s will also have some cold tolerant perennials available, including English daisies, columbine and creeping phlox.
You can also stop by Mischler’s booth at Plantasia to see some clever items that fit in with this year’s theme of “Plantasia Rocks.”
Plantasia kicks off with a preview night 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at the Fairgrounds Event Center, 5820 South Park Ave., Hamburg. It will continue from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 31- April 2 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 3.
Take a look at some of the items that Mischler’s will have for sale at their booth at Plantasia.