Have you ever seen 24,120 pansies all in one place before? That’s like going to a big box store and buying 1,608 flats of 15 plants. It is a mind boggling number and I wanted to see the arrival of the flowers once I heard the numbers. Amazingly, these numbers are lower than in years past. Over time, CA is planting more perennials to replace annuals and planting less in areas with deer grazing issues. But, it’s still an astounding number of flowers for the large areas of CA property that gets planted.
On Oct. 8 I ventured over to the Maintenance Facility in time to see the landscaping specialists unloading the large moving truck filled with carts of yellow pansies. This was truck No. 2 for the day, and the area around the greenhouse was filling up quickly. Truck No. 3 would be arriving in the wee hours the next day.
Besides at a garden nursery, I had never seen so many containers of plants in one place before. And I had certainly never seen so many single variety of flowers all together before. The landscaping services and land maintenance teams plant a variety of fall plants, but pansies are the biggest number, since they put on a colorful show all fall, winter and early spring. And a colorful show it was! Standing in the sea of yellow poppies reminded me of the poppy scene from the Wizard of Oz.
Early next morning, on the 9th, I was at the Columbia Athletic Club and I saw that the landscapers had already been there to do their planting magic. The burst of yellow pansies and potted chrysanthemums around the pink roses still in bloom was a welcoming sight. I witnessed several admiring smiles on patrons’ faces when they entered the Athletic Club. There’s just something about flowers.
Melissa Sinclair works in the Communications & Engagement Division at Columbia Association (CA). Melissa recently moved to Columbia with her three-generation family. She has lived in more than a dozen cities and is looking forward to making Columbia, Md., her permanent home! Click here to read more of Melissa’s Getting to Know CA series.