Voila - Viola !!!
Violas, together with their cousins, violets and pansies, are members of the Violaceae family. The plant is smaller and more compact than its relations, but despite its diminutive stature, produces gloriously abundant, long-lasting blooms on tall stems. Viola is an invaluable, economically-priced, and popular winter-to-spring annual. It creates stunning garden vistas as an en-masse bedding variety, ornamental ground-cover, or companion plant to taller flowering specimens such as Iceland poppies. Ever versatile, violas can also be used to bring cheerful colour to sprawling rockeries, window boxes or pretty patio containers and make delicate posies and vase arrangements. Plant seedlings periodically from autumn through spring and ensure many months of charming, vibrant eye-catching colour.
Violas can be grown in most parts of the country, except for areas with extreme frost. They flourish happily in sunny to light-shade positions, thriving in very rich, well composted soil which receives regular watering. Cut "leggy" plants back to encourage stronger growth, and dead head often to prolong flowering. Dainty little violas add vigour and energy to the landscape with their bright colours and enduring blooms. The plants are readily available in deep blue, purple, purply-pink, lilac or magenta, many with distinctive stripes, and white or yellow centres. Depending on the season, violas create glorious landscapes when teamed with muscari, petunias and daffodils.
Information Supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. Contact Bronwen Tuck, chairperson 083 678 5907.