Pansy Faces, By Sandi McDonald

Pansy flower bloom

Pansy flower bloom

I have loved pansies not only for their beauty, but for their “personalities.” Did you ever notice that pansies have faces? The little patterns of dark color on their petals look very much like faces to me. I think this may be a throw-back to an old Disney cartoon perhaps where pansies danced and sang.  I look forward every year to seeing the new crop of pansy faces we get in at the nursery.

What really strikes me funny is that some of them look angry — little slashes of dark color slanting downward like eyebrows in a severe frown. Some have wide smiles arcing upwards with glee. Still others carry a bewildered expression, like they aren’t quite sure why they are all crowded together on these big tables with huge “beings” passing judgment on them as they poke and prod them in their little containers. Imagine the embarrassment they feel at having their little plastic pots picked up — excitedly thinking they are one of the “chosen” only to be plopped back down in final rejection.

Buy a mixture of faces. Some happy, some sad, some angry…I think it’s only right to have a fair representation of pansy personalities mingling in the mulch in my flower beds. I find it a constant challenge to try and cheer up the angry ones. I speak softly to them, encouraging them to relax, enjoy the beauty of the garden, smile once in a while — make the others wonder what you are thinking!  After all, it worked for the Mona Lisa, so why not them?


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