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Santa Fe in Bloom: Pansies a good bet for early planting

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Posted: Saturday, March 29, 2014 7:00 am | Updated: 3:03 pm, Sat Mar 29, 2014.

March’s warm temperatures brought a flurry of flowering fruit trees and shrubs to the area. Hopefully there will not be a late spring frost so we can enjoy the fruits come spring and summer. As the warm snap continues, just as expected, garden centers have begun to stock early annuals. This can be very tempting for spring-fevered gardeners, but my advice remains: Don’t plant until after Mother’s Day. These plants are too young and are vulnerable to the fluctuating conditions of the weather.

There is, however, one sweet spring plant that you can add to your garden now that should be hardy enough to withstand the unpredictability of April winds and possible (and hopeful) showers. Pansies, which range in hues of bright gold, peach, white, crimson, violet and plum are available in many nurseries and garden centers. They are a perfect accent for walkways, rock and container gardens, or simply in a pot to provide a spring feel. They mix well with spring bulb plants like tulips, hyacinths and daffodils, adding rich color and texture to early gardens.

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