Sweet Violets

Instead of a vase I have a tiny cup this week. It is one my grandmother used to give me with a rare cup of sweet tea when I was little, so I’ve placed it on a string table mat she made. The violets have such short little stems this cup is perfect for them.

Even this tiny cupful casts a strong scent.

I planted violets on top of my dahlias and put rocks around them to protect them from random spades and hungry pheasants while they are dormant in winter. As it happens, they are fairly obvious because they push up out of the ground, and I usually leave a bit of stem when I cut them back. The violets get enough sun to flower in winter, and shade all summer while it’s hot.

Violets growing over dahlias in winter

Luckily the pheasants don’t go to the lengths they will go to get sweet potatoes and don’t normally dig up a whole clump. They seem to be a handy starch in winter, not tasty enough to bother with in summer. Even so, they can do quite a bit of damage eating the above ground tubers, leaving a way in for slugs when they are finished.

Dahlia bulbs eaten by pheasants and invaded by slugs

This particular dahlia is big and bright crimson and incredibly prolific. (I got it originally from a big clump of tubers left at our local dump) I love it, but there are only so many places where a big red dahlia will fit in, so I don’t begrudge the pheasants if they do a bit of growth control on this one.

The dump dahlia in summer.

I love to see the big boy pheasant stalking around on the lawn, making a show of patrolling while the girls hide in the garden. He is shy, and walks quickly away, trying not to run, if I come out while he is there. So it may take a while for me to get a photo of him.

Thanks to Cathy for hosting this meme and here is the link to ‘Sunshine on a Cloudy Day’ in a vase on Monday.