Violas For Winter Blooms

Forest Garden

October 4 shopping 016Violas are finally here, ready to plant in our pots and beds to enjoy all winter.  Even as we watch weather reports of 20+ inches of snow falling in early winter storm Atlas over six states in the upper mid-west of the US, I’m planning our winter flower garden.

Violas, a huge genus of between 500 and 600 species, love cool weather.  The perennial Viola odorata is a naturalized wildflower in our garden.   These small, edible flowers begin blooming in early spring and continue until the weather warms.  These are different from the Viola cultivars showing up in garden centers now.

Sometimes called pansies, Viola cultivars bring welcome color to winter days.  Pansies are the large flowered members of this beautiful group of winter bedding plant.  Violas, the smaller flowered selections; and Panolas, new in-between hybrids; are somewhat tougher and more cold hardy.  While pansies may take…

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