Looking for Violets please help.

flamenco(Hertfordshire)April 27, 2003


I am in the U.K. My Mum so very sadly has passed away and I am trying to locate some Violets for her. Her name was Violet and we always used to buy them for when we could get them. I have tried the Florists around here but they all said that they could not get them at this time of the year. Does anybody know how I could get some. I appreciate any help on this.

Thank you

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Mike Hardman(Cyprus, 100m altitude)

Dear Flamenco,

I doubt that you will find a florist anywhere in the UK stocking sweet violets at this time of year - as cut flowers or posies. There are a few individual flowers now on plants outside, but way past their best, and florists' ones would have been earlier.

But there are other species. V. riviniana and its purple-leaved form commonly sold as V. labradorica should be in good flower now in Hertfordshire. For quickness, you could try local garden centres for plants of labradorica (they are unlikely to have the normal green-leaved kind). Or you could see if friends/neighbours have the green-leaved V. riviniana in their gardens.

My Mum died in November last year. Her name was Violet, too. I made a posy of violets from around the world, which lay in her hands in the chapel of rest and accompanied her through her cremation. It was through her that I became interested in natural history, gardening, and violets - which led to my finding other violet-loving friends around the world. These folks are friends irrespective of the violets now, and they sent very kind wishes when they heard Mum had passed away. The violets in my posy represented their thoughts.

When I made my posy, I had only a small selection of violets in flower (in my cold greenhouse). But I used leaves from a wider range of species, to represent some of those other places. Maybe you, too, could use violet leaves as well as flowers?

I was (and am) also very fortunate in having Clive and Diana Groves as friends; they sent some lovely bunches of Parma violets from their garden centre in Dorset for the funeral. These accompanied Mum's ashes into the ground, along with seed from a selection of cultivars of sweet violet that I have grown. One day, I hope to find violets growing on her little plot. I don't know what funerals plans you have in mind, but there's a thought anyway.

BTW, my Mum's father (Charles Marshall) started his gardening career in Hertfordshire. His wife - my Granny - was also called Violet.

My sympathies for your loss,
Best regards,
Mike (Surrey, UK)

    Bookmark   April 27, 2003 at 7:00PM
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Sorry about your Mum too Mike and your Gran. They were probably just as lovely as my Mum was and is. We are going to have to settle for African Violets.
Thanks very much for your reply and kinds words.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 2:47PM
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