February's Flower: Violas (Violets and Pansies): Wild violets to edge a sunny border (a bad idea)

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February's Flower: Violas (Violets and Pansies)

By dave
February 1, 2016

Violets are February's Birth Flower. Let's learn about these dainty little spring blooming plants.

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Name: Carol Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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csandt
Feb 4, 2016 9:30 AM CST
When I first started gardening addictively, I created a long sunny border along my driveway. To provide a temporary edging for this garden until I could find longer-term edging plants, I transplanted wild violets (dark purple and pale blue/white) from the many nearby places where they grew wild. Each tiny transplant quickly grew into a strapping specimen.

Both the flowers and the foliage of the wild violets were lovely at first. In addition, they had such personality: puffing up happily when their water needs were met and flattening out completely when they needed water.

But soon violets were popping up all over my new garden, competing fiercely with all other plants. So, with some regret, I decided to remove them. However, each time I removed a violet, a ring of tiny seedlings surrounding the displaced plant would quickly rise up to replace it.

It took a lot of time, vigilance and determination to remove all the violets, and some sadness too because they were so pretty. But now they are all back where I got them in the first place, seemingly happy to be home.
Carol Sandt
"Hope is the simple trust that God has not forgotten the recipe for manna.” - W. Paul Jones in "Trumpet at Full Moon"
Name: NancyB
Minnesota (Zone 4b)
Dog Lover Daylilies Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hostas Annuals
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nben
Feb 4, 2016 11:31 AM CST
CS, I have been eradicating violets for ten years now! The previous owner of my house had planted them all along a long fence, and because I remembered my dad's own battle with them, I started pulling them immediately. They're STILL popping up in the middle of my perennials! Oh well. Gives me a reason to get my hands dirty ...
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Feb 6, 2016 3:04 PM CST
I'm a bit confused about violets becoming a pest. I initially planted V. odorata among my hostas on the northwest side of the house. They have gradually traveled all along the north side and around to the east side. Mostly they pop up under shrubs or larger perennials, often creating nice combos. They don't seem to crowd anyone out of their spot, and I rather like their little cheery blooms here and there. I do pull them when they start draping over the walkways, but it seems to be easy enough to do. Perhaps they are more of a thug in other locales? Or perhaps I'm just more lenient about letting plants colonize where they are happy. In any event, they are a welcome splash of color for me.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
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Horntoad
Feb 6, 2016 10:30 PM CST
Same here Deb. I have wild violets growing in the front yard around the ditch. I trying to get them to spread, but they haven't in 30 years. I dig them up move them around trying to encourage them to get more established but all I have is just those few plants that pop up along the ditch line.
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


Name: Carol Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Peonies Butterflies Region: Mid-Atlantic Hibiscus Daylilies Xeriscape
Hostas Roses Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
csandt
Feb 9, 2016 6:09 PM CST
Bonehead said:I'm a bit confused about violets becoming a pest. I initially planted V. odorata among my hostas on the northwest side of the house. They have gradually traveled all along the north side and around to the east side. Mostly they pop up under shrubs or larger perennials, often creating nice combos. They don't seem to crowd anyone out of their spot, and I rather like their little cheery blooms here and there. I do pull them when they start draping over the walkways, but it seems to be easy enough to do. Perhaps they are more of a thug in other locales? Or perhaps I'm just more lenient about letting plants colonize where they are happy. In any event, they are a welcome splash of color for me.


I love the idea of violets with hostas and under shrubs, perhaps in shady gardens. I should have mentioned that they proved to be invasive for me in a very sunny garden.
Carol Sandt
"Hope is the simple trust that God has not forgotten the recipe for manna.” - W. Paul Jones in "Trumpet at Full Moon"
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Feb 9, 2016 6:23 PM CST
CS, that well may be the difference. I haven't had them move into the sun, and will keep an eye on that. I do like them in the shade and since they spread themselves, I have no problem yanking them where I don't want them. I'm always surprised when I clean up the daylilly that is kind of at the cusp between my shade and sun to find several violets completely buried with spent lily leaves but thriving anyway.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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