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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Monday, January 25, 2016

The Insistence of Violets

This post "The Insistence of Violets" was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.

According to my plant spreadsheet, I was at the annual Zilker Garden Fest on March 27, 2010, and spent a few dollars on one young plant of Sweet violet/ Viola odorata 'Royal Robe' from Emerald Garden Nursery's booth. Violets grew wild in the grass in Illinois but I had never seen any in Austin and I missed them. The little plant was tucked into the center of the back yaupon bed but if that violet ever bloomed, I missed the show and didn't take a photo or add it to a bloom list. On the spreadsheet, the plant name had been moved to the Dead section with a brief note: No sign, spring 2012.

Last fall I planted a few snowflake bulbs, shaking cayenne pepper over the ground in hopes it would keep squirrels from digging them up. Oh, what’s this? There was is a little clump of what looked like violet leaves. I set a rock next to it as a mower guard and checked it once in awhile.

This week I was surprised to see an open flower and a few buds, looking very much like the photos of 'Royal Robe' online. So what happened? Even if I saw no flower petals, many violas can make seeds from closed, self-pollinated cleistogamous flowers that grow near the ground.

Perhaps the original plant made seeds that refused to germinate during five long years of drought and heat, but when the rains came and the reservoir lake refilled last year, this violet was persuaded to give Austin another chance. 

This post "The Insistence of Violets" was written by Annie in Austin for her Transplantable Rose blog.