The heat visited today. Soon, the violas will have succumbed, and it will be time to plant zinnias in the spots they leave bare.
Here in the desert garden, violas grow well from November through May, depending on when the heat arrives. They can tolerate a day or two above 100 degrees, but once we get to the long stretch of heat, they’re done.
I didn’t care that much for violas when I was a child–they felt too feminine for my tastes. I loved the bolder pansies–twice as big, or even three times as big, with brighter colors and ferocious lion faces.
That preference carried over into adulthood, and it wasn’t until ten years ago that I began to give space in my container garden to violas. The first year I planted them, I was won over. Though I’m still a Tom-boy at heart, I’ve made room for a softer aesthetic, and now I love the old-fashioned, delicate beauty of violas. Not only that, they thrive in the cool season desert garden. It’s something to love about a garden–that it can carry so many moods and so many flavors of beauty!