Make a Pansy Wreath

photo(1)This time of year, here in the California East Bay, the most dependable annuals for winter bloom are pansies. I have pots of them all over our patios and they sure brighten up the landscape when the rest of the garden is asleep. Making a living pansy wreath is another option. Here’s how you do it.

First thing you need is a living wreath form. (They can be used year after year.) I bought mine from “Kinsman Company.” Get a big bag of sphagnum moss and soak it in a bucket. Then take handfuls and start to line the frame, making a thick floor and sides—with an emphasis on thick! Press it down really well.

photoNow fill up the wreath form with potting soil and sprinkle some slow release fertilizer. I recommend “Osmocote.”

The fun part comes next. Plant your pansies in the wreath, pressing down and firming the soil. Being an obsessive color junkie, I usually plant them pretty close together, maybe 1-2″ inches apart. Top it off with a layer of moss, gently tucking everyone into bed.

Your flower wreath looks beautiful right now, but needs to be secured so you can hang it up. This can be tricky, but fear not!  Take the top of the wreath form and gently snap it onto the bottom wreath form. Patience is the key here! Adjust each pansy plant so it won’t get smashed under the wire frame.

Feed with a liquid fertilizer (like “Miracle Grow” or “Eleanor’s”). Now it’s ready to hang up! It will take a few days for the pansies to recover from the ordeal – they will be facing every which way! Choose a site where it will get at least half a day of sun.

Be careful it doesn’t dry out! It will probably need to be sprinkled daily. A dose of liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks will help it fill out. In a few short weeks you won’t be able to see the moss or frame. It will be a dense color display to cheer your gardener’s heart until spring comes!

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