wild violets in lawn, early blue violet, sand violet, western dog violet, hooked spur violet, viola audunca, alaska violet, aleutian violet, viola lnagsdorfii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest

Meadow Blooms 7 – Wild Violets

So very carefully, I dug some wild violets from our Cedar Hill garden to transplant at our new home, hoping they’d survive the move.   They’ve thrived.  🙂

wild violets in lawn, early blue violet, viola audunca, alaska violet, viola lnagsdorfii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

That was 10 years ago.

The small patch of viola did so well I shared them around, planting them in other beds & borders.  They grew happily in pretty much any situation.
Undaunted.
Workhorses.

wild violets in lawn, early blue violet, viola audunca, alaska violet, viola lnagsdorfii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

And then some emigrated to the lawn.
Determined.

Now, each spring, their swath of purple blooms signals that soon, the rest of the garden will be bursting with colour too.

wild violets in lawn, early blue violet, viola audunca, alaska violet, viola lnagsdorfii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I just have to smile.  Some folks bemoan the fact that once violets get into the lawn, there really is no going back. Fortunately, C has relaxed his goal of a monocultural, grassy lawn.

  • Who can complain about a city meadow of wildflowers that rarely grows high enough to mow?
  • Or tough-as-nails groundcover that stays green through our dry summers?
  • Or flowers that deer ignore?
wild violets in lawn, early blue violet, sand violet, western dog violet, hooked spur violet, viola audunca, alaska violet, aleutian violet, viola lnagsdorfii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The identification of violets isn’t as easy as I expected.  There are well over 500 species worldwide, with many indigenous to North America.

For a long time, I figured this little gem was the Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia), but those are from the eastern side of the continent.  Now I reckon it is either the Western Dog Violet (Viola adunca) or the very similar Alaska Violet (Viola langsdorfii) – both common on Vancouver Island.

wild violets in lawn, early blue violet, sand violet, western dog violet, hooked spur violet, viola audunca, alaska violet, aleutian violet, viola lnagsdorfii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I consider it a special bonus that these lawn jewels are native to the Pacific Northwest (and beyond) — because for local wildlife, especially spring pollinators, this is comfort food.

Wild violets have been an addition to human diets as well – long before they became trendy as colour in salads.  I can’t say I’ve gathered any for supper, but it is kinda cool thinking of our lawn as an extension of the veggie garden.

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