No one can keep on being angry if she looks into the heart of a pansy for a little while.”Ruth Maude Montgomery
Fall flowers are some of my favorites, almost as much as spring flowers, maybe! I think of fall flowers as the last bits of vivid color before the season of brown and gray. I don’t know about you, but I really need these bits of vivid color to get me through the monotony of winter.
Pansies come in a fabulous array of colors from deepest purple and magenta to the palest yellow and crisp white. The color varieties in between can be vivid or delicate. Most of us associate pansies with the deep velvety purple and yellow colors that are most common but a group of pansies called the “Crystal Bowl Mix”have the sweetest delicate pastel shades of yellow, orange and bluish lavender that make me think of Victorian table arrangements. If you want your pansies to be a bit soft and delicate, go for the Crystal Bowl Mix, then get an actual crystal bowl and float a few blooms for a beautiful bit of table color to brighten the long cold days of brown and gray. You’ll be inspired to paint every time you look at the cheerful faces of pansies looking up from the bowl. If you are a serious gardener and want to be sure you know exactly which pansies make up the Crystal Bowl Mix follow this link to the pdf from the Florida State Horticultural Society.
“I end not far from my going forth, By picking the faded blue, Of the last remaining aster flower, To carry again to you.”Robert Frost
And then there are the asters and the mums to add some last bits of color before winter’s dusky days. Purple asters, to me, make a stunning contrast to the miles of yellow mums that are on every porch throughout fall. Asters, according to Better Homes and Gardens, get their name from the Latin word for “star” and are most often sold in the pale purplish lavender variety though they do come in pink and white varieties, as well. The Farmers Almanac gives the scientific name for purple asters as S. novae-angliaeand has wonderful tips for the best growing conditions for this beautiful perennial. Happy DIY Home has a great guide for everything you want to know about asters, and especially how to grow these fall beauties. Asters attract butterflies and are a great food source for monarchs as they migrate south for the winter. And they provide welcome relief from the miles and miles of yellow mums on porches throughout the fall season. When you spot the one house whose porch is adorned with asters in the sea of yellow mum porches, you know that is where a person with art in their soul must live!
Happy Fall Y’all!!
Note: This is a reprint from an article I wrote last fall. We’ll be painting asters again this fall at Watkins College of Art at Belmont University in Nashville, TN,