Now that we've covered what edible annuals will flourish against a hardy backdrop of winter perennials, let's discuss what flowering annuals work well in the Tucson winter garden. There is one flowering annuals I would like to focus on, although there are many other flowering annuals that will do well in our climate for winter growing: Pansies. Pansies are exceptionally colorful, cold hardy, can tolerate varied levels of sun without stress, and require minimal care to thrive. Though all pansies are technically violas, not all violas are pansies. It is common to hear the names "pansy," "viola" and "violet" interchanged in the world of gardening. True pansies are derived from the Viola family, Viola tricolor to be exact. Pansies are planted the world over, but have done particularly well in North America. Said to resemble a thoughtful human face, pansies come in a variety of colors such as gold, red, purple, white, and yellow. Normally, a pansy takes two years to bloom and produce seeds, but because of mass cultivation of this favorite flower, most pansies purchased at your local nursery will bloom the first year planted - some in as little as nine weeks! Pansies will tolerate freezing temperatures, but need well-drained soil and at least partial sun to thrive. Pansies are a perfect border for garden spaces, and fill gaps in container gardens with a pop of color quite nicely. And since there are multiple colors and varieties of pansies to chooses from, you can plant this beautiful flower for years and enjoy a new effect each time you plant it.
Have you had success planting pansies in your garden? What other winter flowers do you cultivate in your yard? I'd love to hear about it! Leave a post in the comments section or contact me. I'd love to give you a complimentary consultation to help you design the winter garden space of your dreams. Check out La Fleur Plantscapes + Fresh Flora for more information.