As I was lying on the ground in the garden on Saturday afternoon photographing small things I noticed the most amazing perfume.The air was warm and still, perfect conditions for the massed ranks of white violets (Viola odorata Alba) to be scenting the air, and for their delicate perfume to hang on the breeze, such as it was, rather than dissipating as  usual.

I brought the original plants to the garden 16 years ago from my Northamptonshire garden, and they haven’t exactly thrived-more quietly survived in their small corner.  But this year they have exploded into life and sprung up in places they haven’t been before, and their usual faint scent has become the sweetest perfume. In Greek mythology, these were Aphrodite, Goddess of Love’s flowers. I think this white form seems to be particularly  appropriate for a Grecian Goddess. They are nectar rich too, providing food for many of  those tiny things I was trying to photograph.

And it is not only in my garden the violets are doing their stuff. I read an article in the Guardian this morning (here) suggesting it is a nationwide phenomenon. How are the violets with you this April?


8 thoughts on “violets

  1. Aren’t the violets amazing this year!!! I said that last night… there are so many in our garden, and on the grass banks around the village church too.

    I didn’t realise there were so many different wild violets – but looking in the new Flora of Suffolk there’s so much to learn!


  2. They are so gorgeous. The new one I bought last year is a mass of flowers, and yesterday I found a huge patch of purple and white wild ones up in the wood – but I didn’t have my camera!

  3. i transplanted a whole whack of them from the garden next door—the house is being demolished and i wanted to save as much as i could–they survived and are blooming like crazy!

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