Weidner's Gardens: Pansy frenzy - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Weidner's Gardens: Pansy frenzy

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ENCINITAS (CBS 8) - On a foggy Encinitas morn at Weidner's Gardens, the annual pansy picking frenzy is just moments away.

"We open the doors at 8 a.m. At 9 a.m. sharp we will count down and I hope your watch is good. You will ring the bell and then people can start digging," Evelyn Weidner said.

As the countdown continues, the diggers stalk their prey.

"What you do is you scout the ones that you want and then when they ring the bell you beat everybody else and take what you want," a digger said.

At Weidner's, picking pansies is a contact sport. The strategy is divide and conquer.

"We each take our box and individual shovels and he goes for his and I go for mine because we both like different colors," a digger said.

Moments before the opening bell, some final instructions from Evelyn.

"Go all the way. Go around it four times, the whole pansy plant. Lift it up with your other hand. That's your great big root ball, your pansy. Now put it back. It's not 9 yet," she said.

"Pansies are the number one best fall, winter, spring blooming plant you can put in. We plant between 15,000 to 16,000, every variety that we can possibly squeeze in," she said. "By the time we close December 22 for our Christmas break, the field should be 90 percent empty."

When it comes to pansies, there's an old saying: pansies are dandy, but liquor is quicker.

Yet on opening day at Weidner's Gardens, the atmosphere here is intoxicating.

Weidner's Gardens
695 Normandy Road
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 436-2194

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