National Viola and Pansy Society Newsletter Autumn 1997

Bits and Pieces.

From Colin Andrews in Kent I received the following: - "Whilst on holiday in September, my wife and I visited Sherborne Castle and there we saw a set of chairs with embroidered seats. The designs were floral, but one chair had pansy motifs with the characteristic centre blotch. We were assured that the embroidery was original, and that the chairs were purchased new, according to the archivist, in the period 1753 to 1796 from the Castle's accounts. Given that this information is correct, it would appear it would call into question the dates usually put forward as to when the first pansies appeared."

An interesting find and supposition. It is generally held that Thompson's 'Madora' was the first of the blotched pansies, appearing as a chance seedling around 1841. The editor would welcome any comments from members. As Mr Andrews concluded, "Who knows what might turn up."

From Rhonda Tubbs a member in Morris, Minnesota. USA
A little insight into preservation.
"Last Fall I took some cut pansies and put them in silicon sand, stuck them in a microwave for 45 seconds and dried them. Then I took a floral wire and glued their little faces to it and used them in a dried floral arrangement - it was really nice looking. Plus all winter I get to look at a pansy."

Dudmaston Flower Days.

During the last few years the National Trust at Dudmaston Hall in Shropshire has hosted a small series of Flower Days. These have been most successful in bringing Florists' Flowers to a much wider public. Violas and Pansies were on show for the first time last year; and I have been invited to exhibit again this year on Sunday 8th June. It is not an enormous display, but I hope to put up both bedding and exhibition varieties. If you are in the area. do come and have a look. Dudmaston is well worth a visit in its own right, but two other dates that might be of interest are Sunday 27th April, when you will be able to see Auriculas, Gold Lace Polyanthus and other Primulas. Sunday 18th May is when the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society transport the whole of their show from the previous day, beer bottles and all, and re-stage throughout the Hall. The large table in the entrance hall full of English Florist tulips is a magnificent sight.

Variegated Pansy.

Verity Lucas of Chelmarsh gave me a piece of variegated pansy that she had found on a market stall amongst the usual drifts of 'winter flowering'. It is tricolour, cream, grey/grey and green, very attractive, regardless of its flower. I have never heard of such a thing, has any other member? I can only assume that if they appear in commercial seed beds they are rogued out. However, I managed to root the piece and aim to propagate enough to distribute. I shall try and put a plant on display at the Annual Show. Meanwhile, Glyn Lucas has searched the ranks also and has found an orange self and a clear yellow both of good form, build and size. He is propagating in the hope of getting a few 'benched' - worth looking for!

Spring 1997

Secretary's Notes Nursery News Cultural Notes Society News
Bits and Pieces Plant Profiles New Varieties Pansy, Viola and Violetta
My First Show! Thinking of Showing?

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