Pansies are a cool-season annual flower that blooms in fall, winter and spring. Low-growing, they reach a maximum height of 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide. Versatile, pansies thrive in full sun to partial shade and nutrient-laden soils that are well-drained. Flowers to complement the pansy must also be able to thrive in cool temperatures and grow in a wide range sizes to bring visual interest to the garden. Nestle them alongside the pansy for a unified display or place them behind to create a showy backdrop.
Sedum 'Autumn Joy'
Stonecrop (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’) is a succulent perennial that blooms from August to November to create a sea of color with their long-blooming flowers. Ranging from deep pink to copper, sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ grows 1 to 3 feet tall and wide and has an upright, clumping growth habit. The succulent bright green stems on 'Autumn Joy' accent and bring out the colorful pansies. ‘Autumn Joy’ grows best in full sun to part shade and fertile, moist soil, although can tolerate drier soil, if needed. Tuck this pair into containers together to create a fall display. Plant ‘Autumn Joy’ in USDA zones 3 to 11.
Play up the bright colors of pansies with the equally vibrant colors of snapdragon flowers. Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) grow up to 3 feet tall and 1 foot wide and are ideal lining the back of a row of pansies for their height and highly textured blooms. Their two-lipped, closed blooms have the common name snapdragon in references to the dragon-shaped flowers. The colorful flowers of snapdragon grow along the upright racemes and in a wide range of bright colors ranging from red, pink and orange to white, yellow and purple. The glossy, dark-green, lance-shaped leaves on snapdragons also complement the green leaves found on the pansy. Plant snapdragons in USDA zones 7 to 10.
Hellebore (Helleborus 'Winter Joy Bouquet') is an herbaceous perennial flower with a bushy, clump-forming growth habit and bright blooms. They grow up to 1-1/2 feet tall and wide and feature 2-inch-wide, nodding, cup-shaped flowers that come in shades of white, deep red, yellow and pink and have a contrasting yellow stamen that presents itself in small clusters. True harbingers of spring and late winter-bloomers, hellebore flowers accent the cool-weather pansy with is equally vibrant blooms. They grow best in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil that is alkaline in nature. Versatile, hellebore is tolerant of summer heat and humidity. They grow best in USDA zones 4 to 9.