Step 1. Grow up with a dad who takes you and your siblings out to the woods in the springtime to hunt for morel mushrooms. On the edge of the woods, you'll find some violets. Beg your dad to let you dig some up and take them home because you love them and you know your mom does too.
Step 2. Plant the violets in a flower bed at home. Then watch as the violets take off in that rich garden soil. Is it as rich as the woodland soil? Perhaps. Perhaps not. You just know that those violets got really big in that flower bed.
Step 3. Grow up and move away and then buy a house. Then go back to your parents' house, now with just your mom living there, and dig up some of those violets to take to your own house.
Step 4. Each time you move, dig up some of the violets to take with you.
Step 5. Let the violets grow wherever they want to grow. Under the peonies? Sure. In the perennial garden bed? Yes, there too. In the lawn? Yes. Around the base of the ginkgo tree where they just showed up one day? Absolutely.
Step 6. This is a really important step. Don't let anyone tell you the violets are weeds. Many will try to do so. They will want you to kill them. But always remember they are not weeds if you want them to grow in your garden. Just let them grow.
And that's how, in six easy steps, you can grow a beautiful groundcover, like these native violets, in your own garden.
You are welcome!