Autumn violets

The loveliest colours for creating an autumn mood

As your garden and patio slowly prepare for their winter sleep, there are luckily still autumn violets to spice things up a bit. 

Autumn Violets Thejoyofplants.co.uk

With their appealing colours and smiling flower faces, autumn violets are an excellent remedy against the falling leaves blues. They're the same plants as spring violets, but sowed at a different time by the grower. As a result, they can bring greenery and colour to the garden and patio throughout the autumn and winter. They can be planted in the soil as a bedding plant, but also do very well in pots, bowls and baskets. There are many varieties, from wood violets to large-flowered violets. Plant them close together for the best effect.  

 

All the colours of autumn 

You can plant autumn violets from mid-September through to October. They are available in typical autumn colours such as orange, brown and purple. You can enjoy them for a long time because they are well-able to cope with the cold and winter showers. The plant may start to droop after a frost, but that certainly doesn't mean the end. It’s best to leave the violets alone. When the temperatures rise again, the plant will perk up. If it gets really cold, autumn violets will stop producing many new flowers. When things get a bit warmer in the spring, they will start forming buds of their own accord. They sometimes also seed themselves, which is nice: you might discover a violet between the paving stones in the spring! 

Styling to suit your taste 

The wide choice of colours in autumn violets means that you can match the styling entirely to your personal taste or the season. Red, pink, brown, orange and yellow violets look wonderfully autumnal in wicker and terracotta. Blue - lilac - purple and white match nicely with zinc and grey for a more modern look. And you can create a classic winter feel with white autumn violets and a checkerberry for example. Autumn violets also do very well in hanging baskets - possibly with some grasses or ivy - in order to spread the colour around the garden even better. 

Autumn violet trivia 

  • Violets (official name: Viola) grows in the wild in regions with a moderate climate in damp, somewhat shady spots. It is a European plant which only arrived on other continents in the 19th century.

  • In the case of native plants, the smaller the flower, the better the plant is at naturalising.

  • The violet symbolises humbleness and modesty. 

  • Anyone who dreams about violets has good fortune coming their way.

  • Plant bulbs underneath your autumn violets. When the autumn violets have finished flowering in the spring, the first spring bloomers will be peeping through - surprise!

  • Some violets are edible. You should seek out the violets specially grown for human consumption though. You can also make candied violets.

  • Violets are a popular ingredient in perfumes. Violets were grown around Grasse in the south of France for this purpose as far back as the 16th century.

  • The scent of violets was the favourite perfume of Napoleon and his wife Josephine. After her death in 1814 he had her grave covered with violets and from that moment on he wore a pressed violet in a locket.