Viola (including pansies)

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Alisdair

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Re: Victorian Violas
« Reply #30 on: July 19, 2012, 06:51:36 PM »
John, their website appears to be for UK sales only?
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #31 on: July 19, 2012, 06:59:45 PM »
Does that matter? I wasn't proposing that people buy from them!
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

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Alisdair

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Re: Victorian Violas
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2012, 07:08:19 AM »
Doesn't matter at all! But the violas look so nice that some people might have wanted to order from them.... That's why I asked.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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John

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2012, 09:32:19 AM »
I've just had a look in the show catalogue which doesn't give such information and on their web site there doesn't seem to be any either. Interestingly they appear not to be in the Plant Finder.
Over the years I have from time to time grown this type of Viola with varying degrees of success but at least they do retain the wild characteristics of the species.
John
Horticulturist, photographer, author, garden designer and plant breeder; MGS member and RHS committee member. I garden at home in SW London and also at work in South London.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2012, 07:37:01 AM »
Those violas are mainly bedding violas (most suitable for garden use), rather than show or exhibition types.

A couple of references on violas, which concentrate on the bedding types:
- Morris May: 'Victorian Visions' in 'The Garden', May 1998, p.356-361
- Mike Hardman: 'Viva Violas!' in 'The Garden', May 2008, pp.298–301

As regards supply: Wildegoose Nursery, http://www.boutsviolas.co.uk, who will ship to the EU as well as Britain. (Mark and Stephanie Roberts developed the quite well-known Bouts Cottage Nurseries over the years since 1978. When they retired last year, the nursery was taken on by Laura Crowe and Jack Willgoss, and hence the plants can now be found at Wildegoose Nursery.) This is one of the best collections of violas for sale.

An important constituent of bedding violas is Viola cornuta, from the Pyrenees (as John hints). There are many lovely cultivars of that species, which can be grown in similar situations to bedding violas. Not as easy to get hold of, granted, you can read about V. cornuta in my article in 'The Plantsman', March 2007.  Cornuta genes add perenniality, and can be seen in some cultivars by the presence of a white eye in the middle of the flower (many other violas and species 'pansies' have a yellow eye).

A lot of the development of V. cornuta was done by Richard Cawthorne, in Kent. Morris May, in his 'Planta Vera' nursery between Woking and Staines, took on Richard nursery contents shortly before Richard's death, and for a while he was the national collection holder. But he had to focus on more commercial plants (mass plantings for councils, etc.). If Morris has any violas left, you'd have to go visit and ask nicely! (It would help to mention my name, and send Morris my regards.)

The best place for V. cornuta cultivars (they sell other violas and other perennials as well) is Elizabeth MacGregor Nursery at Kirkcudbright, in the west of Scotland - http://www.elizabethmacgregornursery.co.uk. They ship to the EU. They are regular RHS Chelsea medal winners. A photo here shows how V. cornuta can form lovely spreading carpets. You may wonder about the suitability for mediterranean climates of plants that grow well in the west of Scotland, but as proof, one can point to the superb cedars of Lebanon that grow in their garden. The web site and catalogue is quite nice to browse, helped by Alasdair MacGregor's excellent photography. Roy Lancaster visited their nursery and garden, as documented in 'The Garden', May 2008.

As I have made significant progress developing the structure of my garden in Cyprus, I am almost ready to try several V. cornuta cultivars myself. I am looking forward to that.

« Last Edit: July 21, 2012, 07:46:02 AM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

Daisy

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #35 on: September 24, 2012, 09:51:47 AM »
Pansy Padparadja seems to like it here.
I planted some young seedlings, on top of some tulip bulbs in a pot, last November. They are still flowering.
They are next to a pot containing Rose Pat Austin.
Pat Austin smells of ripe mangoes and the pansies have a lovely,strong, sweet, spicy smell.
I can quite happily go from one to the other, sniffing for hours. ::) ::) ::)
Daisy :)

Amateur gardener, who has gardened in Surrey and Cornwall, England, but now has a tiny garden facing north west, near the coast in north east Crete. It is 300 meters above sea level. On a steep learning curve!!! Member of both MGS and RHS

helenaviolet

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2012, 01:31:49 PM »
Hello,   
I am not sure where to begin here... first it was interesting to see a photo of our Australian 'weed' Viola hederacea (now re classified as V. banksii) carpeting a lovely old garden. Also, Mike, I thought you might be interested to know that I recently obtained a form of Viola cornuta from a nursery here in Victoria. The listing in the catalogue simply reads..."A perennial species of Viola....lilac long faced pansy flowers...A plant from hot hillsides in what used to be called Yugoslavia"...and then they claim it is heat and sun-tolerant. I mail ordered 2 plants which are growing well and am looking forward to them flowering. Soon, I hope, and a will send a photo when this happens. Meanwhile I hope to be able to contribute to this forum. I grow many violets together with Mediterranean herbs.
Cheers for now, helenaviolet. :)






 
I live in Central Victoria, Australia. This is very much a "Mediterranean" climate with long hot summers and cold frosty winters. Citrus grows well here. I am interested in species and cultivars of Viola which will grow in this climate.

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MikeHardman

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2012, 02:59:09 PM »
Hello and welcome helenaviolet!

Interesting name, in that Napoleon, who was exiled to St Helena and who took the violets as one of his emblems, had a wife Empress Eugenie, who is also associated with violets (there is a Viola eugeniae). But you probably knew that (?)

I look forward to seeing your purportedly Yugoslavian V. cornuta in due course (true V. cornuta comes only from the Pyrenees, of course). When you take your photos, please let's have a look at the spur sideways-on (spur should be long), and the flower full-face (looking for a white eye), and the stipules at the base of the leaves (small and somewhat triangular).

I wonder if you have come across my violet-enthusiast friend, Rob Peace, from your neck of the woods (Ferntree Gully, Victoria). If not, let me know and I can put you in touch.

I hope to hear more about your 'growing many violets together with Mediterranean herbs' as & when you have observations or thoughts to share, or questions to ask.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 03:01:12 PM by MikeHardman »
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

helenaviolet

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2012, 03:01:10 PM »
Thankyou Mike,
One of my favourite articles on violets "Violets and the High Life" by Audrey Le Lievre was published in Hortus magazine, winter 1989 vol 3 # 4. She suggests that a violet should be named after the Empress Eugenie. It is thanks to Rob Peace that I have been able to identify some of my violets. I am not sure about the best way to go about sending/posting photos here at MGS. Please, any advice would be appreciated.
Cheers, H  :)
 
I live in Central Victoria, Australia. This is very much a "Mediterranean" climate with long hot summers and cold frosty winters. Citrus grows well here. I am interested in species and cultivars of Viola which will grow in this climate.

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Alisdair

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Re: posting pictures
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2012, 05:30:14 PM »
Helena Violet, There is some general information on how to post pictures which you can find if you click here, and scroll down through the various replies. In the index of that same "How the Forum Works" section there are one or two more specific postings on how to resize photos. Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 05:33:56 PM by Alisdair »
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

helenaviolet

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2012, 12:46:41 PM »
Hi Alisdair,
Thankyou for your assistance. I have resized these pics so hope they look OK. People are welcome to copy them, if they wish, for discussion purposes.
3 pics of a Viola odorata cultivar which I know has been growing in Australia since at least the 1920's. Please, if it looks at all familiar, I would be interested in any information. Curiously, I think it may be growing in Malta. I saw some pics on the 'Wild Plants of Malta' website (presently seems to be closed) a few months ago.
It is a large violet, robust upright growth habit, large coarsely textured leaves. Flowers are lightly scented, broad open faces with long petals. A pretty lavender-blue with a crimson blush in cold weather. Tall stems, excellent for picking. I refer to it as "Julie's violet" in memory of an old friend who gave it to me. Certainly this is an old variety but I haven't been able to find any matching descriptions in lists of heritage violet cultivars. I wonder if, possibly, this violet has ancestry somewhere other than France or England.
Cheers, Helena  :)
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 12:55:14 PM by helenaviolet »
I live in Central Victoria, Australia. This is very much a "Mediterranean" climate with long hot summers and cold frosty winters. Citrus grows well here. I am interested in species and cultivars of Viola which will grow in this climate.

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Alisdair

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2012, 06:58:42 PM »
Thanks for posting those pictures, Helena: what an excellent blue that is.
I hope one of our violet experts may be able to put a name to this fine cultivar.
Alisdair Aird
Gardens in SE England (Sussex); also coastal Southern Greece, and (in a very small way) South West France; MGS member (and former president); vice chairman RHS Lily Group, past chairman Cyclamen Society

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MikeHardman

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2012, 12:41:58 PM »
I'm consulting with some growers in the UK and France...
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

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MikeHardman

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2012, 08:22:26 AM »
Helenaviolet,

No definitive answer, but here's what we have.

Rob Peace comments:
"The violet seems to be a giant Russian violet. It's the same type as cyclope but without the central rosette. It is scented for us." (You may have heard that from him already, of course.)

Clive Groves comments:
"I have come across this violet several times in Spain and in Portugal, confusingly it is labeled in the botanical gardens in Beja as Viola odorata, its almost the warm continental version, it does not seem to be affected by red spider mite, it has a warm glow on lavender flowers but unfortunately hardly any scent, all very confusing."
Here's a photo of Clive's plant.
I would add that your plant looks a bit like Nathalie Casbas' 'Colombine'
Mike
Geologist by Uni training, IT consultant, Referee for Viola for Botanical Society of the British Isles, commissioned author and photographer on Viola for RHS (Enc. of Perennials, The Garden, The Plantsman).
I garden near Polis, Cyprus, 100m alt., on marl, but have gardened mainly in S.England

helenaviolet

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Re: Viola (including pansies)
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2012, 02:10:54 PM »
Thanks Mike,
I thought possibly 'Colombine' a couple of years ago, also possibly 'California' USA but, well, not quite right. Clive's "Spanish Blue" is interesting but needs a clear white centre to fit. Oh yes, tough and disease resistant. Many features suggest a plant which may have been developed for commercial flower production. Regards to Rob and appreciation for his time, patience and valuable research over the years. 'Cyclope' is a separate issue but there may be a link or some relationship to the following. I hope it adds interest here at MGS without causing confusion.

"King of the Doubles" sometimes called "Jazz" is another old violet found in Australia. It is a fully double form of V.odorata. Two pics- a) early flowers which are more open showing the unusual construction of the flowers and b) later flowers which form compact rosettes of violet blue streaked with white. Robust growth habit (which is similar to 'Julie's violet') and large coarsely textured leaves (also similar to 'Julie's violet'). Mentioned in old Aust. gardening books. Earliest official record I have is 1928 in Gill & Searle Pty. Ltd. seed & plant catalog, Melbourne.
Cheers for now, Helena  :)   
I live in Central Victoria, Australia. This is very much a "Mediterranean" climate with long hot summers and cold frosty winters. Citrus grows well here. I am interested in species and cultivars of Viola which will grow in this climate.