Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Viola lab shipping closeupWhy, yes, you're right - that's a whole lot of Viola labradorica peeking out of that to-be-recycled paper.  And yes, I just ripped it out of the ground, lots of it, and YES, FedExed  to Mary's garden in Gloucester.  (And no, that is not best horticultural practice.)

All gazillion V. labradorica plants in my garden descend from a few I transplanted from Mary's mother's garden in Connecticut, on a June day very long ago.  And Jean is coming to visit Mary in mid-June.  So...  we have a little time.  I included some very beefy plants (those roots are almost woody!), and some medium plants, which I suspect will adapt a little more easily.  But they're violets, for crying out loud.  They will adapt.*

If we lose this whole batch, I will have weeded my garden a little, and we'll try again.  But they've arrived, and Mary will let us know when they look more like this:

Viola labradorica in flower

I like plants that have a story, or tell a story, or contribute to one.  It doesn't have to be a complicated narrative - a trip from a Wethersfield garden, to Brooklyn, and then up to Gloucester is just the sort of drive any of us might do in a weekend.  It's a pleasant, sociable trip.  And though I haven't found them exceptionally flavorful, these violets are nominally edible, so they help tell my Shady Kitchen Garden tale.

*How's this for adaptable:  like some other violets, this species produces cleistogamous flowers after the cute, showy ones... those buds don't bother to open into adorable purple flowers (think of all the saved plant energy), but simply self-pollinate before firing an additional salvo of seed in every direction - by my count, about a dozen seeds per bud.  If you have an over-abundance of violets seeding in, take a look for stealth seed pods (...and if you don't have an over-abundance of violets, keep that overnight shipping option in mind).

Exciting update:  the violets have arrived, they're planted, hooray!

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