Planting pansies in October for a May wedding.
Dekie has decided that the wedding will be in the middle of May at her father’s northwest Georgia farm. The ceremony will be down by the lake and the guests (family only) will walk past two extensive flower beds. The problem at hand is to figure out how to have a beautiful flower show in these beds for the middle of May. We realized that if we go with summer annuals, the plants will be small, recently planted, and will not give us a good show, so we decided to plant pansies. Pansies should be at their best in May.
We started by going to the wholesale grower somewhere around the middle of September. David, the grower, showed Dekie all of the plants that he was growing and they discussed sizes and colors. I just watched and listened, because I knew that any color decisions were definitely not a guy thing. She chose blue shades, solid yellow, solid white, and white with a purple blotch. We reserved 30 flats (1080 plants). That should make a show.
On Saturday, October 16, –the middle of October—we loaded the truck with pine straw and pansy plants and headed to the farm. The beds were prepared and relatively weed free. It was time to plant for an event that will be held in seven months. We started with the pine straw.
The pine straw on the beds gave us a “picture frame” so that we could better see the scope of the planting. Dekie studied the beds from all angles and said things like, “a clump of white here, maybe surrounded by clusters of white. I think a blue background on the back side of the straight areas with a front border of white with a splotch.” I wish all my customers could be that specific.
So, we unloaded the pansy plants and separated the colors. Note the bottle of Osmocote.
Dekie laid out six packs of plants to get the general idea of color separation. We found this step very helpful. She moved the packs around until she got the general lay out just right.
The next step was to remove the plants from their containers and lay them exactly where they were to be planted. This way, we could shift the plants here and there, make adjustments, and only have to plant them once.
When Dekie got far enough out ahead and was satisfied with the plant placement, we started planting.
The job took a while. Here’s Dekie adjusting plants, heading around the back side of the last flower bed. It took almost as long to lay them out as it did to plant them.
The pansies were standing up looking pretty as I watered them in. It looks like it will be dry for a few more days. We’ll water them every other day until the weather changes a bit.
It had been a tiring day of supervision for Speck, the coon dog. We drove the van across the pasture to the Chatooga River (the little one) and let Speck swim around a bit and cool off. It was quite a day.
This is one of those projects that I categorize as “No Guts, No Glory.” We’re taking a chance, but if everything works out just right, the flower beds will be glorious for the wedding in seven months.
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