One of my favorite things to do in March is to wander the yard checking out places where the snow melts away to see what is happening on the ground. The above average warm temperatures the end beginning of the month gave me an early opportunity. I was surprised to find one flower and one teeny bud at the edge of the front garden on one of my daily forays.
|This had to have blossomed while still under the snow, so it's|
looking a bit beat up. Still, to see the color was exciting.
To see the new-growth green and the flower was exciting, especially as it meant the blooming started while the plant was still buried. It wasn’t a perfect blossom. It looked a little worse from the wear of being under the snow but still, a blossom in early March?
You know spring has arrived when you start seeing violas and violets in nurseries, in the yard and alongside roads. Violas and violets are in the violaceae family and can be annuals or perennials. There are over 525 species. Flower colors range from shades of purple to blue, cream, white and yellow and some are bi-colored. (The large-flowered cultivars developed from violas and used annually for gardens are pansies.)
Violas and were the first perennials I purchased last spring and I planted them in flower boxes on the back railing. I was attracted to them because they can be planted earlier than many other plants. Young plants are edible and high in oxidants.
I periodically moved the flower boxes throughout the summer depending on the sun. They like spring and early summer sun but as the season heats up, they struggle. If viola get too much sun, they will get tall and “leggy” and produce less blossoms. It’s all about finding the right levels of sun and shade. They also need to be deadheaded regularly to keep them vibrant and blossoming.
I planted them in the ground at the end of the season when they were looking poor. I would love to see them spread and they may do so out of the boxes. Some people consider violas and violets weeds but I’ve always loved the bits of brightness throughout the lawn. They also look great as borders in the flower garden, and who knows, I may get more for the flower boxes again this year.
As I write this the Saturday before a big storm, I know I can’t get too excited. Winter has not let go yet. Still, writing and thinking about pretty spring flowers brings cheerful thoughts of the warmer weather to come.