Thursday, October 4, 2012

Potting up Fall Pansies

Every Fall I pot up a few Glacier Pansies. These little charmers will bloom even in the snow!
I painted these little pots to highlight the sweet pansy colors.
To paint your own, you will need:
Several 5 inch circumference unglazed terra - cotta pots with saucers.
Exterior Latex (Flat or Satin) paint in off white.
Small cans or samples of Exterior Enamel (Satin) paint in  primary colors (I used red, green and yellow).
1 inch flat paint brush
For each pastel color, I simply measured out some of the white latex into a plastic cup (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup)  and added a small amount of the enamel paint to tint. (Start with a teaspoon) Mix well.
I tinted 3 colors
Red = pink
Green = mint
Yellow = lemon
First I painted new clean pots with the white exterior latex paint and let that dry.
I then painted the pots lemon or pink, using very light strokes so the white would show through.
I painted the inside of the pots the opposite color. (If I used pink on the outside, I used yellow inside and vice versa)
   I let them dry.
I then painted over the rims of both the pots and saucers with mint, again, using very light strokes, so the colors underneath show through.
The paint will dry in a matter of minutes.  
 I just mixed and matched the pots to the saucers.
The paints have a chalky effect on the terra-cotta that is quite charming.
If you buy 5 inch clay pots, you can slip a 4" bedding plant right into the pot, plastic pot and all. Then you can change them to suit the season.
Of course, no matter how careful you are, the paint will start to chip and weather and grow moss. If you like this look, leave them out in a protected place - under the eaves or on a porch.
Or you can take them inside for the winter and replace the Pansies with African Violets!
I was inspired to paint these pots from similar painted pots I've seen in photos of France. For a true French look, paint the pots all in French blue.
But I am far from France!
This is Beatrice Euphemie Vintage Cottage Style!
My Grandmother, Beatrice Euphemie would have painted inexpensive pots, and improvised a plant stand out of a cast off baker's rack, just like this.
She had 8 children and many grandchildren, but she had beautiful gardens.
All around her big white farmhouse, she had flowers of every color, but her favorites were Red Geraniums.
I can still remember sitting on her large front porch drinking her home-made root beer and eating a slice of her lemon meringue pie, while visiting one beautiful summer day with my Dear Mother.
Of course we got the whole tour of the gardens first, ending out back with the vegetable garden and orchard. That is where she grew her prized Gladiolas.
She would let me and my Dear Mother pick armfuls of them in every shade of sherbet.
My Mother had a large, hand painted floor vase just for the Gladiolas.
My Grandmother would stand by in her flowered house dress and apron, clippers in her hands, ready to prepare the flowers for the bucket of water. We promised to bring the bucket back in payment for such beauty.
Next, the apron was held up as we were encouraged to pick tomatoes as large as a softball, cucumbers, squash, and Grandpa's prized peaches. We were only allowed 1 for each family member, a special treat Grandpa shared with all.
You would bite into one and it was pure Ambrosia!
Oh, how I loved those summer days.   
Now that was heaven.


  1. How beautiful! I love the tinted pots, it's such a simple change that makes a massive difference.

    My mum loves pansies so maybe I'll give this a go for her.

    Have a lovely day!

  2. Those pots and flowers are absolutely adorable!

  3. Although the pansies are out really is too soon to plant them because it is still rather hot and humid mid afternoon.

  4. What a beautiful post, Karen. How nice it is to remember such sweetness in the simple things that make a childhood last a lifetime.

    I love you painted pots idea. I'm going to store this in my memory and refer to it when I find a home. <3

  5. Hi Karen,
    I'm new to your blog and already loving it! Your painted pot idea is so pretty and I love remembering times with my grandparents and their gardens too.

  6. I enjoy pansies as well. They are better than primroses in the spring. The slugs like the primroses but not pansies and violets. I just bought and planted 10 pansies and they grow well in the winter. I like how you painted the pots. Have a good weekend!

  7. Karen, your comments on my blog kept getting gobbled up and sent to spam, but I have rectified that. I also wanted to tell you that I have relocated my blogroll (not on a widget but a separate page - under the "Page" tab). I wanted you to know where to find it:

    And lastly (for now!) - I sent you an email, but am not sure you got it...have you?

    Weather is turning cool here - fireplace weather! I'm so excited to be back! <3

  8. How clever you are! Those pots are perfect for your pansies. I bet they will just glow in the winter gloom.

    I loved reading about your grandmother Beatrice Euphemie. My granny made a famously-delicious lemon meringue pie. She never had any herself because a doctor had told her long ago not to eat eggs. Towards the end of her life, medical opinion was reversed and she was told she could eat eggs. I said, "Granny! That's fantastic news! You can taste your lemon meringue pie!" But she said it was too late for that and she didn't care to. A shame. I think, though, that she enjoyed our pleasure in her baking every bit as much as she would have enjoyed it herself.

  9. gorgeous, gorgeous! the blast of color from pansies is always so pretty...
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
    the voles dug my flowers up the past 2 weeks.

  10. I usually associate pansies with spring and here they add an unexpected delicate falvour to rich fall colours. Very pretty.

  11. What a great idea. I love the pots in pastel colors and pansies together! :)


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