New Year's flower count

Jim McKenney
Tue, 05 Jan 2016 09:36:04 PST
Hi, Martin, good to hear from you.
You mentioned Viola koreana (aka Viola grypoceras exilis 'Sylettas'). This plant is weed-easy in this area, although it has odd habits. The plants disappear and then re-appear in other areas (I assume they are seeding about).  I know one local garden where it forms a ground cover - and the garden owner wants to get rid of it! I like it a lot and am hoping to get it established in my own garden. By the way, I doubt if hot summers were the problem: in the summer we go for weeks with daily temperatures into the 90s F (>32° C. ).
You wrote: " I've learned to hate January and February: 
mild for weeks, just to shock frost everything to -15°C in case the wind 
turns to come from Russia with love..."
Well, that's what happened here last night (although I think we have Canada, not Russia, to thank): we dropped to -8.3° C this morning, after weeks of relatively mild weather. I have not yet been out into the garden to inspect the corpses. 
Good luck - I hope the violets  do well for you.


      From: Garak <>
 To: Pacific Bulb Society <> 
 Sent: Sunday, January 3, 2016 4:43 AM
 Subject: Re: [pbs] New Year's flower count
Hi Jim,

here's another grower of Parma violets in zone 7 - it's only their 
second winter, but they had no trouble at all last year, maybe because 
there was enough snow in thos few cold nights. Odorata's are native here 
and seed around like crazy, I've yet to see the parmas spread besides 
their runners. I've tried Viola Koreana for the wonderful foliage, but 
they seem to have loathed the very hot summer and seem all gone now.

Flowers are very rare around here now - the occasional Primula, Aubretia 
or a stray Calendula, a few Helebores (likely orientalis hybrids, 
they're actually volunteers) and some very last Campanula Persicifolia 
outside. Inside, Freesia Laxa is taking a break, though a few are in 
bud. And there are some leggy Nigella Orientalis, no matter how much 
artificial light i give them. Well, I tried for a second generation per 
year for a breeding project, but they are too far away from their 
outside appearance to do any selection.

But if it stays this mild, I'm  waiting for Galanthus Nivalis, Eranthis 
and Anemone Blanda any day... I've learned to hate January and February: 
mild for weeks, just to shock frost everything to -15°C in case the wind 
turns to come from Russia with love...


Am 03.01.2016 um 02:03 schrieb Jim McKenney:
> Hi Ernie, glad to read that there is another Parma violet fan out there!I've found that very few selected forms of Viola odorata thrive outside in the garden here. But there are some - plants going around as Queen Charlotte and the blue and white forms ('White Czar') of Viola odorata are fine outside, and so does the little pink one ('Rosina').  But the Parmas in particular are unlikely to survive outside here.However, they thrive in cold frames.I would cover your plant carefully before severe weather arrives - or better yet, bring it inside and grow it in the coolest well-lit site you can provide. They thrive in under cold but above-freezing conditions.Good luck and let me know how it turns out.Once you've smelled the flowers, you'll go to great lengths to be able to grow them. Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, zone 7, not really Parma violet country.
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Southern Germany
Likely zone 7a

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