The Controversial Violet

Viola sp. grown from seed many years ago. 
Oh, the controversy over violets!

There are some people who consider violets of any species to be lawn and garden weeds which should be pulled out, or worse, obliterated with herbicides.

There are others, and I am in this group  of others, who think violets are the most charming of flowers, which should be allowed to flourish just about any place they decide to do so.

A dozen or so years ago, I actually hunted down all kinds of violet seeds with the hopes of adding some different varieties of violets to my garden other than the common woodland violets.

Oh yes, I actually dug up some common woodland violets and brought them to my garden and planted them in my garden.  Where did I dig them up, you ask.  Well, originally, when I was about ten years old, my dad let us dig up some violets from a woodlot out in the country which we knew simply as "Bob's Farm", named after the neighbor who owed it.

We always went out to Bob's Farm to look for morel mushrooms. One year my Dad brought along a trowel so we could dig up some violets, my mom's favorite flower, and quite possibly also my favorite flower.

Those violets have flourished for decades and it is from that group that I dug up some violets for my garden.

Of the violets I started from seeds way back when, only a few remain, and they are flourishing in one spot on the side of the house.  In the picture above you can see how pretty they are.  And you can see how many other seedlings are coming up around them. Seedlings of more violets.

That picture, those violets, bring me joy, though some may shudder at it.  Shudder all you want.  I am going to transplant some of those to the back garden, probably to the semi-shaded border around the honeylocust tree.  For those keeping track, that's the garden border I call Bird's Blanket.

Why Bird's Blanket? Because the bird feeders are on the edge of the border and all the plants within are intended to be low growing, quiet, restful-to-see plants.

Then I think I'll start my search again for seeds for all kinds of violets to add to my garden.  And I might even attempt to remember which species is which this time.

Or I might just enjoy them, violets, one of my favorite flowers.


  1. I'm with you, Carol! There should be more Violets in the world. I had some in Stockton, CA a few years back. Started with three 4X4 plugs around my roses, and in a year filled the whole bed. Sooo prolific and happy!! But I'm in So Texas now, and I keep the four I have indoors. Enjoy your sweetness while it's there!! God Bless you and your garden :-)

  2. I have many different kinds of violets - the woodland ones are taking over sections of lawn. I also have some special ones from friends and one called Freckles (white with purple spots) which I received from my sister because ... well I have loads of freckles. We are just getting rid of the snow... no violets yet.

  3. I wonder why some people shudder at violets? Your little violet is just lovely. In my neck of the woods violets are indoor plants which reminds me I need to pick up another one.

  4. My husband hates violets and I love them. Ha... Once established you can't get rid of them. Just ask him. :)

  5. We have many varieties of violet in the garden here. Once I found that they were the larval food of our Orange Tip butterfly, they are all welcome. I just put up with the leaves being a bit nibbled if it means we are going to have beautiful butterflies in the garden.

  6. There is a third category--those who are not fond of their relentlessness, but have given up in abject defeat. There will be violets.


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