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Coastal Sunrise pansy
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
During a recent greenhouse visit, I could pick out my favorite mix of pansies while I was still 30 or 40 yards away. It's been several years since a mix of any certain crop stirred such frenzy in me, but that is precisely what happens every time I look at Coastal Sunrise.
The Coastal Sunrise mix is in the Matrix series. The Matrix series only hit the market last year, and already they have skyrocketed in popularity for several good reasons.
First, they load up with large, colorful flowers. For those of you who think bigger is better when it comes to pansies, then the Matrix series is for you.
Second, they branch quickly, giving an even more colorful show because of the sheer number of flowers as they reach a height nearing 8 inches with an equal spread.
Third, they have short stems that are able to support these large flowers above the plant, giving a terrific landscape display.
Finally, they are resistant to stretching, which is that untidy, leggy appearance. This means as they enter the warm days of spring, the Matrix will keep on performing at its best.
All of that should make you want to plant Matrix pansies, but your jaw will drop when you see the Coastal Sunrise mix. I am a pretty good color-combination guy, but I promise whoever came up with this mix certainly deserves some accolades.
When I first saw a planting, I looked at it with amazement. I walked away and came back. Then I walked around on all sides. I even drove 40 miles away to another function and made a return trip just to make sure I did my best to capture its beauty in a photograph.
My words in describing Coastal Sunrise will not do it justice because when you look at a planting, you'll see rich colors that include shades of blue, rose, peach and creamy yellow.
You might think anyone could mix those colors for the same impact, but it's not just the mixing of colors, but it's also about quantity. When you look at the mix, you'll first notice the shades of blue that remind you of that time when you were in a boat and went from clear, shallow water to the deep blue.
Then you see the rose that reminds you of the beginning of a new day as night gives way. Then comes the creams, yellows and what appears to be a rusty rose of the sunrise.
It's not just about putting this color with that one and then adding another but actually creating a floral art.
While Coastal Sunrise is my favorite, I also have a deep appreciation for a new one called the Ocean Breeze mix, which is made up of various shades of blue, lavender and white. It, too, is in the Matrix series.
Early this morning I noticed the dew had turned into ice -- not on the window, just on the roof. This is a signal to all of us that it's time to work those beds up with organic matter and a little pre-plant fertilizer, and then plant pansies.
Don't fret if your garden center doesn't have the Coastal Sunrise or Ocean Breeze. They'll have a variety of pansies that are sure to bring months of cool-season pleasure.