I love violets in the garden. Violets are one of the 1st plants I remember planting as a kid. When we went mushroom hunting with my Dad in a place we called Bob’s Wood, sometimes we would just come back with a clump or two of woodland violets to plant. That was okay with me, I wasn’t all that wild about the morel mushrooms anyway. I was more interested in just walking through the woods, looking at the plants, and digging up some violets.
In fact, I am pretty sure that the violets in my garden are some I transplanted from those we transplanted to our house after one of our mushroom hunting trips. That makes these in my garden a highly desired passalong plant and not a weed. Can you believe it? Some people think woodland violets are weeds!
I go nuts on Saturdays when I am driving around running errands, listening to a call in program on gardening. People call in and ask how to kill the violets in their yard. And the retired extension agent tells them it will be tough to do, and then proceeds to run through a litany of chemicals that will do the trick and not kill the grass. I always answer back “why would you want to kill the violets!” One of these days I’m going to call in…
One of my favorite violets is the variegated leaf violet, Viola mandshurica ‘Fuji Dawn’. I grew some from seed several years ago. They lasted a few years and then one spring they didn’t come back, probably because it got too cold in the winter. They are really only hardy to zone 6 and I am in zone 5, so I knew they wouldn’t last forever, if even a year, but I tried anyway.
I will try again this spring, and look for a more protected area in the garden.