I ADMIT TO BEING A CREATURE OF HABIT, even stubborn (just ask my sister). So when I heard that the two varieties of violas I intended to use this spring were “not available this year” (a phrase I do not take kindly to), it was not pretty. When all alternate sources proved dead ends, I was forced into a whole new palette…no easy feat when your house is painted the darkest olive with the hottest red-orange trim. Sigh.
There simply was no ‘Terra Cotta’ (above) nor any of my most-favorite-ever viola, ‘Blue Bronze’ (bottom of page) to be had, and it was too late to start them from seed when I found out.
As I mentioned last year about this time, I have rules for everything, including how to grow violas and pansies (as if just being stubborn isn’t enough, I’m also sometimes rigid). The pansy-and-viola rules involve the scale of the containers I like them in (low, preferably bowl-shaped, as you can see in this other post as they awaited planting) and the number of varieties per bowl (one, and only one, period).
By now I hope you know that when I say “rules” I do it to poke fun at myself; do as you wish in your own garden, and have fun doing so. But if it’s rules you want, well, then, here are mine.
This year’s elements in A Way to Garden’s pansy-and-viola palette (top) are four: a solid-orange pansy called ‘Delta Series Pure Deep Orange’; an intermediate-sized pansy with a reddish-and-gold bloom called ‘Panola Series XP Fire,’ plus two violas: ‘Sorbet Series Black Delight,’ which I have grown for many years, and cheery yellow ‘Sorbert Series Baby Face Primrose,’ whose blotch is darkest purple. As I said, it’s hard when your house is not a simple color combination; both Jack (the cat) and I have our dwellings painted quite vividly, as you can see below (that’s his place at left; mine across from it to the right).
We’ll see how it all sorts out as the newly potted bowls fill out in the coming weeks; meantime, I’ll be here with visions of ‘Terra Cotta’ and ‘Blue Bronze’ (below) still fixed in my head, being the cranky kind of thing a person without her best-loved pansies can be…until the new ones win her heart, that is. What charming little pansy and viola faces have won yours this spring, or in springs past?