As winter’s grip becomes weaker, the first signs of Spring are the audible ones– American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds starting to announce their presence after their long winter silence.

March is the transition from Winter to Spring and with warmer days ahead plants and flowers, just like our Van Wilgen’s customers, are starting to venture outside. Last week one of my neighbors had been unwell, so I asked Brianna to make up a planter for them. Cold-tolerant plants such as Pansies, Violas, Ranunculus, Tulips, Hyacinths and Daffodils offer resilience against any occasional cold nights or frosty mornings and are guaranteed to bring some colorful cheer back into our lives.

As the old English proverb says, March comes in like a Lion and goes out like a Lamb!

At Van Wilgen’s we have a saying: pansies are tiny but tough.

You might think that pansies need to be kept inside during this time of year with cold nights and warmer days, but that would actually be the worst thing for them.

To keep these cheerful springtime annuals happy, you’ll want to keep them between 45 and 65 degrees, but they can tolerate temperatures as low as 28 degrees, which is below freezing. As soon as the spring sun comes up in the morning, if the pansies were frozen, any ice will melt, and they’ll bounce right back to life. Right now through the end of June is the time pansies enjoy most so it’s the perfect time to take some home to brighten up your garden or containers for instant springtime color.

It’s a refreshing sign of spring when you can see and smell the pansies. For this area, pansies are an annual that typically lasts from March to the end of June. In cooler summers, they can even last as late as the end of August. To prolong the season and promote more flowers, be sure to deadhead your pansies as much as possible, and keep them in tip-top shape with Bloom Booster.

Just remember to keep your pansies outdoors. Unless you have a cold area in your house, they won’t last more than two days inside and will start to wilt. If you’re worried about a steep temperature drop outside you can cover them overnight with a sheet or a box. If they aren’t planted, you can bring them in overnight before you go to bed but make sure they’re out again by the time you make the coffee in the morning.

Not only are pansies beautiful in all colors of the rainbow, but they are also edible. With a taste like lettuce that has a sweetness to it, they’re great with mixed greens in a salad or some people crystalize them as a baking decoration.

No matter what color you prefer or how you like to enjoy them now is the time to plant and enjoy these tough little signs of spring!

Spring is in bloom in our greenhouse! All you have to do is walk through the greenhouse doors and the aroma of spring hits you. Just stop, take a big breath in, it’s good for the soul.

The greenhouse is full of so many springtime favorites right now.

The colorful pansies are probably the first thing you will notice. Though pansies are tiny, they are also tough. Go ahead and plant your pansies outside and get your spring on, they can handle temps down to 28 degrees.

With Easter right around the corner, we have all your true Easter favorites in stock and ready to find a forever home.

Easter was one of my favorite holidays as a kid. Although the candy was always good, the thing that I remember most is actually the flowers. The smell of the Easter lilies and the hyacinths in particular are forever burned in my memory. So now, when I smell the sweet aroma of Easter I can’t help but think back to all the wonderful memories I had with my family.

I hope when these Easter plants find their forever home with you, they will help you create memories as memorable as mine.

Happy Spring/Easter Everyone!!!!!

Finally, mother nature is easing up on us just a bit.

With the sun finally shining and warmer temperatures you can’t help but feel the energy here at Van Wilgen’s. Every day we have more and more plants making their way up from the growing department. Billy and his crew have done their job, growing the most amazing crop of spring/summer color to fill our greenhouse. With the temperature on the warmer side these days, we need to be mindful that we are still in the month of April. So, even though temps are warm during the day, the nighttime temps can still be a little cool for some of the plants we grow in the greenhouse. Look for the signs that will remind you if a plant needs to be above a certain temperature, or just ask one of us, we are here to help make your gardening experience as easy as possible. Mid May is usually when it’s safe to plant outside worry-free. Until then if you are buying a plant such as geranium, you will need to protect it if the temperature drops below 50 degrees at night.

I generally say there are 3 stages of spring/summer plants.

If you really want to feel spring fever stop in and walk through our tropical paradise, enter through the back of our greenhouse. Take a deep breath and enjoy. Remember tropical temperatures are 50 degrees and above day and night.

March sure came in like a lion this year. But I think we are all ready for it to go out like a lamb, right? As we get closer to April we all have spring on our mind. There is nothing like the smell and colors of the spring season.

Our greenhouse is filled with just that. With Easter, right around the corner, we have lots of extra colors to brighten your smile and warm your heart. The daffodils are so alive with the brightest yellow blooms, and the hyacinths hit your senses as soon as you walk into the greenhouse. You can’t help but say what smells so good! The smell of the hyacinths reminds me of going to the greenhouses with my grandmother when I was young. It was the only plant I wanted around the Easter season. Plus, they were purple, my favorite color.

Now to the true spring flower. The pansies have taken over our greenhouse! There’s nothing like filling the greenhouse with all that color. Just try and pick a favorite. I bet you can’t. They all look truly amazing and are waiting to find a new home. Remember pansies are not only pretty, they are one tough little plant. They can handle temperatures as low as 28 degrees, and any April showers that mother nature decides to send our way. So, If you need a spring fix before mother nature is ready to release it to us, stop by and say hello. The greenhouse is the perfect place to get your spring on.

Darlene Granese, Greenhouse Manager

After a long winter inside most of us want nothing more than to get outside and get our hands dirty and plant some gorgeous color in our homes to help us feel alive again. But what should you plant? What plant can handle the cold temperatures? Especially a temperature that at times can possibly drop under 32 degrees. Pansies are the answer to those questions.

Pansies are one tough little plant. Not only are they gorgeous and come in a vast array of colors but did you know that pansies can handle a low temperature of 28 degrees. These plants actually thrive and look their best in the cooler temperatures, so relax come visit us here at Van Wilgen’s and pick out some pansies to brighten up your home and your heart. Pansies are a great start to the gardening season. Have fun with them.

Darlene Granese, Greenhouse Manager