I’m not a fan of pansies. The summer heat in Georgia, has them withering by June. But, it’s little cousin the viola is a favorite of mine. The first flower to greet me each spring, it weathers the winter and comes back reliably each year, spilling out of the half barrel planter.
The tri-colored ones, also known as Johnny Jump Ups, can be started from seeds indoors, or planted directly into the ground. I prefer to buy bedding plants. Plants with lots of buds, but have not bloomed yet, are the best choice, sent they transplant better. They will self sow, and return each year in most parts of the country.
Violas can be planted in the ground, or in containers for early spring color.