VIOLET

These old-fashioned plants are easy to grow, given a cool, shaded position. In the right situation, clumps of violets can remain undisturbed for many years. They are sometimes grown against a sunny west wall to provide earlier flowers but it is essential to plant in moist soil, otherwise the shoots may be attacked by red spider and aphids, especially in hot weather. Mulch with damp peat, leaf mould, etc., during drought. Violets are increased in May after flowering when the plants are separated into rooted shoots, the strongest being re-planted not less than 1 ft. apart. Alternatively runners can be pegged down and separated as soon as they have rooted (this method avoids disturbing the plants). Any runners not needed for propagation should be removed as they appear. The double violets are less vigorous than the singles. Note that a few varieties have very little perfume. The following are all strongly scented. John Raddenbury: single, pale azure-blue. Marie Louise: rich blue. Double.

Princess of Wales: single, rich violet. Long stems. A favourite variety with market growers.

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