Early spring has few players in the garden that awaken the spirit and the landscape like violets. I especially like how they seem to appear overnight through a rush of brittle leaves like petaled placards declaring winter is behind us. Botanically speaking, they’re viola odorata. Don’t let their meek presence fool you; they pack a heady, lasting punch of sweet perfume.
When not being watered by wayward bulldogs, violets enjoy growing and spreading in dappled sunlight or light shade. In my garden they need little care and all but disappear in the summer resting up for their winter sleep and spring review.
A cordial glass of violets within arm’s reach and a well-placed nose can make a quiet moment magical; one more sniff and you’re guaranteed a self-induced daydream.