National Viola and Pansy Society Newsletter Autumn/Winter 1999


Autumn has arrived, but only according to the calendar. As I write looking at the garden I can see Fuschsias, Pelargoriums, Roses, Marigolds, and even Sweet Peas still giving a good show. What of the violas? Generally making a recovery from the heat of July and August. The plants really did suffer and are only now making herewith that I expect. Although gardeners are notorious for damning the weather, whatever it does, I do think our seasons appear to be less well defined.

This has its effect on plant growth and the level of pests. Slugs and snails have appeared more rampant than ever before, and I also had to contend with a population explosion of field voles. Not content with taking tulips earlier in the year, during August they attacked violas and pansies alike, chewing through the main stems, and then discarding the debris. I can only assume that these furry vandals were seeking moisture.

As you will read further on, we have once again had a successful Annual Show. But where were the visitors? You will also see that major changes are planned with regard to the A.G.M. This is an important move for the Society. It is an attempt to put the management of the Society on a much firmer and wider base. Society events such as these deserve the support of the membership. While I am aware that it is not possible for all to attend, I would like to see an increase in numbers. These events are opportunities to meet other growers, exchange ideas, and possibly add a few plants to your collection. The Society does need rather more support than the annual subscriptions; and I would like to think that we could begin a new century by ensuring the long-term future.

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