While we're enjoying the cooler temperatures of fall, plants are as well. Fall is an excellent time to plant pansies, bulbs, and woody ornamentals.
What makes the fall planting season so ideal is the soil is still warm from the summer heat. Typically, there is more precipitation in the fall so there is less water pressure put on the plants. However, you may need to water them in the drier, warmer spells. Temperatures are cooler which also helps with the reduced water requirements, and lastly, there are reduced pest populations—both in weeds and bugs!
Pansies are cold hardy here in Michigan. The best time to plant them is early fall. They will bloom and grow throughout autumn. Cold temperatures may make them look wilted, but don't be alarmed, because sunshine will perk them up and help them look good again. They'll also survive being covered with snow, blooming during times of warmer temperatures after the snow has melted. Come spring, once the snow melts off and we start getting spring weather, they'll perk up, start blooming, and will continue to bloom and grow until it becomes too warm.