Spreading Pansy ‘Cool Wave Frost’

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‘Cool Wave Frost’—dappled fluff for a range of projects

A special feature of Pansies is their ability to move color around their blossoms—not just from cultivar to cultivar, but from plant to plant and even flower to flower. In a mass planting, this creates a dappled garden look that also follows the modern mix designs of today, except the plant delivers the look naturally. A number of Pansies we sell have this charming style—one of them is Pansy ‘Cool Wave Frost’.

PAN Cool Wave Frost 12One plant can produce a range of flower colors

The Cool Wave Series

Cool Wave is a hybrid of Pansy and Viola, which means the plants have larger flowers, like Pansies, but they bloom heavily like Violas. This series forms the foundation of our spreading Pansy production for good reason. It’s vigorous about covering the soil, and it has one of the nicest fluffs for baskets, containers, and gardens.

Look at any decor photo of the Cool Waves and you’ll see what we mean by fluff. A signature of the series is that the plants hold their blooms out horizontally from the container. They don’t hang, drape, or droop, because Cool Wave stems are strong enough to lift up the flowers.

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Blooms are held out on strong stems without hanging, draping, or drooping

The Signature Frost

In its white form, ‘Cool Wave Frost’ has a clean white with a yellow dot and kitten whiskers. In its full color form, light blue sweeps across all the petals, except for a small halo of white around the center dot. In between these two extremes are all the variations on this theme, with blues first entering the top petals on some flowers before cascading down onto the full face on others. Since the color has no sharp lines it moves like a watercolor stain.

For early spring products like gift bowls and baskets the colors of ‘Cool Wave Frost’ work particularly well. Pastels, especially light blues and lavenders, say holiday but remain relevant afterwards. Soft blue-to-yellow hues provide an early spring welcome that appeals to both consumers and visitors as they emerge from the gray-driven days of winter.

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In a mass planting, the various colors combine into a dappled garden effect

In the Landscape

‘Cool Wave Frost’ is considered a spreading Pansy—plants grow horizontally, sending out longer stems and then pushing flowers upward to create a small forest. Bloom height is about 6 to 8 inches, and the best display always occurs in full sun. Shade, even partial shade beyond an hour or two, reduces the bloom count and makes them stretch.

Set ‘Cool Wave Frost’ plants a little further apart than standard Pansies, about 10 to 12 inches. As they grow they knit themselves together into a single cohesive planting. This is when the dappled effect kicks in—all the plants have variations of blue, yellow, and white flowing across with a random, multicolor quality.

PAN Cool Wave Frost 11An example of the white form of ‘Cool Wave Frost’

Weather Durability

One of the small details we have always liked about the Cool Wave series is its weather durability. Under troubled skies we’ve seen Cool Waves come through in better condition than other Pansies because of their thicker petals and stiffer stems. Once the storm has passed the plants open up new buds quickly to fill in any color holes.

This feature is courtesy of the Viola side of the family, and it benefits early spring landscapes as well. Violas are famous for their tough early spring performance, and ‘Cool Wave Frost’ has that same in-ground efficiency tied into its light-and-bright display. It hangs in there if the weather turns ugly and comes out again when the sun shines.

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Shifting colors of ‘Cool Wave Frost’ add personality to combinations

A Handy Mixer

‘Cool Wave Frost’ is a great mixer for the designer who works in either landscapes or containers. Because the colors bridge into any number of violet, blue, white, yellow, gold, or orange combinations we can use this one variety to fill around bright Osteos or dark Violas, or among some contrasting Matrix Pansies. For vertical emphasis try the cold-tolerant Juncas ‘Blue Arrows’, and for a little bubbly froth pull in some Alyssum.

Pansy ‘Cool Wave Frost’ is sold in the 6-inch size.