Pansies and Violas are so amenable to cultivation that, given careful treatment, they can be sown at any time with a fair prospect of success, but, to obtain the best results, they should be sown in April or May, in boxes placed either in a cool greenhouse or frame. The boxes should be covered with a sheet of glass, and the seed ought to be sown thinly, so that the plants may be allowed to remain in the boxes till they are sturdy little fellows with fine healthy leaves about an inch in diameter. In June, or early in July, the seedlings must be transplanted to a prepared frame or bed in the open. This may be ordinary garden soil to which has been added some old, well decomposed manure or leaf-mould; and, if the soil is of a tenacious character some sand may be added, but not otherwise. Plant the seedlings in it three or four inches apart, and give careful attention to watering; if the position is fully exposed to the sun some shading will be required. Shortly after the plants become established blooms will begin to appear, but these should be removed, as the special object in view is to obtain strong healthy plants to put out into their flowering quarters in September. Seedlings raised in this way will invariably stand the winter well in the open, except in the most exposed positions. Where it is desired to have a display in such a position, the plants should be left where they can have a little protection by means of a sash or otherwise during the winter, and be moved into their flowering positions in March. One great advantage of the treatment here recommended is that plants are obtained with a great mass of fibrous roots, and when moved it is rare that even a single plant fails. If planting is done in September, growth will continue all through the winter months whenever the weather is mild, and by the time the plants begin to bloom in April and May they will be fine clumps, several inches in diameter, capable of producing large, beautiful flowers. They will continue for several months to flower, and in July or August the "old wood," or, more properly, the strong shoots, which have flowered should be cut away, and the young fresh shoots in the centre of the plant left to continue the flowering. Treated thus, most of the plants will bloom again in autumn, and even stand over another winter. Any specially meritorious variety can be propagated by cuttings, as recommended in another chapter, just the same as named varieties.
Plate 3. Three Fancy Pansies
Mrs. J. Stewart.