container of pansies like this Panola Beaconsfield
will brighten up the cool season porch patio or
we have a shipment of Panolas coming to the garden; this
series of pansies has long been a favorite of mine for
its persevering landscape performance. Iím sure there
has been a generation of gardeners born who probably
have never heard the name Panola.
I first saw them there were just a few colors and the
name was Panola Panache. This might best be translated
as Pansies with Flamboyance. While that is certainly a
great visual description, think about the name Panola.
Have you ever wondered what you might get if you crossed
a viola and a pansy? Well, a small company by the name
of Waller Genetics did and created an award winning
flower forevermore known as the Panola. History shows
Waller Genetics was sold and today the Panola has been
developed, improved and expanded into many more colors
and mixes by Pan American Seed, a Ball Horticultural
I touted rugged perseverance in the landscape Iím not
just talking about winter. I remember when it was chosen
as a Mississippi Medallion Award Winner over a decade
ago one of the supposed warnings within the committee
was you better watch out because it has great heat
tolerance and would look good longer into the spring
causing some gardeners to delay planting summer annuals.
can understand how that warning brought a smile to many
faces as this was really a testimony that the plant
chosen as an award winner would simply build on our
reputation of selecting award winners. An even bigger
smile occurred, a couple of years later as it swept Ohio
State Trials pansy competition.
I was selecting Panolas for this yearís cool season
color at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens I was
lured by those with clear faces. Since I was a kid I
have always treasured those pansies with blotches. The
Panola offers you the gardener a great choice in clear,
blotch as well as some designer or artistic mixes.
the Panola seems to have gotten the best features of its
parents. The flowers are not as large as many pansies
but are larger than a viola. Plants will grow 6 to 8
inches tall and are prolific bloomers that may have a
dozen flowers open at one time. For this reason, they
deserve a place in the landscape and in containers on
the patio or deck. The sheer number of flowers produced
makes them every bit as showy, even from a distance, as
the large-flowered pansy.
a site in full sun for the best performance and showiest
displays. Some part sun is certainly tolerated. Before
planting Panolas, prepare the bed by tilling in 3 to 4
inches of organic matter to a depth of 8 to 10 inches.
While tilling, incorporate two pounds per 100 square
feet of a slow-release, balanced fertilizer.
matter helps loosen tight clay soils for better water
penetration, aeration, and good root development.
Organic matter is important on the coast and in other
locales that have sandy soil. Sand is made up of the
largest particles, allowing for quick drainage and
leaching of nutrients. Organic matter improves the
water-holding capacity and helps retain vital nutrients.
are also heavy feeders. Feed monthly with a light
application of slow-released fertilizer. Feed those
grown in containers every other week with a dilute
water-soluble fertilizer. Periodic deadheading will keep
the flowers coming.
combine wonderfully with cool season flowers like
ornamental kale, cabbage, mustard, dianthus, and
snapdragons. As you plant your bed, of try
inter-planting spring daffodils. The blooming bulbs and
these pansies will be like a crescendo in the spring
garden. Pansy planting season is a wonderful time of the
year, when it occurs in your area give the persevering
Panola a try, youíll be glad you did.