|Violas - notice how covered up in flowers they were!|
Unbeknownst to me, I conducted the perfect experiment with pansies and violas this past winter. I planted them in the sections of the border where the sunflowers had been. The soil was amended the same way and they were fertilized the same. Instead of combining pansies and violas in the same bed, I put pansies in one bed and violas in another bed.
|Pansies - notice how they didn't fill the bed out.|
As for the violas, even though they were completely covered by snow each time, it didn't phase them. As soon as the snow melted off they started blooming again. Even after being covered in snow for a couple of days!
It was amazing how the differences between the pansies and violas became even more pronounced as the months went by. The viola plants were lush and full of beautiful flowers. On the other hand, well....the pansy plants eventually began blooming again but they weren't happy and lush. There were beautiful flowers but it wasn't an OH WOW, beautiful look. Another interesting observation is that violas tend to drop their old flowers faster than the pansies do.
My vow to myself was "Next year I'm not going to be seduced by the colors found in pansies that aren't found in violas." So far, I've managed to keep my vow - though there have been some really pretty pansies......