Sweet Little Violets

Viola ThumbnailI love growing plants in pots. We have a collection built up over the years with containers for outdoors in all shapes and sizes. Many of them are terracotta. They age beautifully and fit in with the mellow tones in a country garden very well.

ViolaOne of my favourite plants for containers is the annual viola. Some gardeners turn their noses up at it because it’s like a mini pansy. They say they are far too gaudy and common. Not me. I appreciate their flowers throughout autumn and winter… especially if it’s mild weather and what’s more they will self seed. They are inexpensive, widely available and come in a good range of colours, some plain, some with blotches and speckles.

annual Viola

If you really can’t bear to grow these lovely little plants then why not try a relative of theirs?     Viola odorata

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Viola odorata   Sweet Violet
This is a small hardy perennial native to the UK. It forms a mat of heart shaped leaves. Scented flowers are produced in late winter and early spring… they may be blue, purple or white. It is best suited to woodland, wildlife or cottage gardens and is particularly useful for growing in shady areas beneath large deciduous shrubs particularly roses.

Each plant only grows to a height of about 10cm / 4 inches. To see the detail it’s best to plant a clump in a small pot for your garden table.  Do you grow Violas?  Which do you prefer?   Gillian 🙂

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