While researching for the viola register, I have been increasingly aware of the limited range of colours and form that remain available in modern garden violas. I have to admit a penchant for those varieties with a margin of colour, be it suffused or well defined picotee.
Etain is one of the most popular varieties, and Ruth Barber writes that both she and Gerald enjoy it: "A delightful delicate looking flower which is lemon yellow with a violet edge". Half a dozen plants purchased at Malvern last year were planted "in a stone oblong container 7Ocm x 5Ocm in a shaded area where they would receive only early morning sun. From May to October we had an abundant display of blooms. In between times, we constantly deadheaded and Gerald gave them an occasional liquid feed, They were admired by several visitors". And rightly so!
Etain is readily available, and there are others that I feel are worthy of being grown in more gardens. Therefore I make no excuses for suggesting Helen Dillon, Mayfly, Amelia, Joyce Gray, and those with rather larger blooms such as Ruth Elkins and Winifred Jones.
There are others and one which I have distributed throught the society is Jennifer Andrews. Everyone who has grown this Colin Andrews seedling has found it to be a wonderfully reliable variety with good garden manners. So why not have a little search through those catalogues and try some for yourself
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