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National Viola and Pansy Society
Journal 2001


Irish Molly and other Awkward Beasts

At one time the question always seemed to be "where can I get Irish Molly irishmb.jpg?", this was wherever I gave a talk or via post or telephone. My answers must have been correct as I hardly get asked this any longer. Instead it is "How do I keep 'Irish Molly'?" Everyone who has aked me this has the same story to tell. They obtain a plant to grow it on in pot or border, and then it rapidly fades. I speak from experience because this is what happened to me. I have a soft spot for 'Molly' as it was the variety that got me interested in the genus; I spied a whole bed of it underplanting a pear tree at Powis Castle. I rushed off to purchase a plant. It flowered wonderfully but duly faded, and by the end of August I was searching for cutting material. I found but one small shoot and after some coercion it agreed to put out roots. By the following spring I had quite a vigorous plant with a good crop of shoots, but what to do? The books all mentioned propagating as an autumn task. I wanted insurance so I took those cuttings in mid April and this time they rooted in a fortnight. These became the stock plants so that I could build up a number of 'Molly' and flower them in a group while having a ready supply of fresh plants. So there you are - take cuttings of 'Irish Molly' before you let it flower, and with this variety Spring cuttings always seem to do better than autumn ones.

barbara_b.jpg jaspillingb.jpg almab.jpg evjackb.jpg
'Barbara' 'James Pilling' 'Alma' 'Evelyn Jackson'

I have noticed over the years as I have grown a wider selection that there are a number of varieties that really respond to the same treatment, namely those that are of a somewhat procumbent habit. All of the 'Woodlands', 'Barbara' , 'James Pilling' , 'Alma', 'Evelyn Jackson', 'Pams Fancy', to name but a few. You may have found some of the varieties in your collection a bit miffy after they have flowered. I think it is well worth the experiment to have a go in the spring. I would be interested to hear of your results.


Journal 2001

Editorial Annual Show News from Scotland Census results
Green Goddess Notes from a Novice International Register Naming
Southport Nursery News Ray Frost Tailpiece