GBBD: Blackthorn & Honey Scented Violas

April's quite different this year: the blackthorn has only just come out (last weekend) in a cloud of white which completely brightens the old hedgerow next to the house. Two years ago I showed it flowering on 9th March, so it's a month later this year. However, its masses of blooms with contrasting fresh green leaves more than makes up for its tardiness.

We're experiencing a spell of quiet, warm, sunny weather at the moment, which means I can take my coffee breaks out on the patio. Here the honey-like scent of the masses of Violas I planted out in the autumn are almost overwhelming. I've never known their perfume to be so strong and it tempts me to linger well past my allotted time.

Elsewhere, the later Daffodils are adding their scent to the garden and the Tulips are now girding themselves to take over the baton. The picture shows one of the bargain bulbs I planted in the large bowls underneath the Violas last year. Finally, it looks like the blackthorn blossom is influencing my recent plant purchases: I came back from Franks Plants last weekend with a Dicentra spectabilis 'Alba' to brighten a shady corner at the bottom of the garden, plus a couple of white Osteospermum for the pots on the bottom patio steps, and a white large Marguerite for the wheelbarrow by the front door. Soon it'll be time to see if my attempts at overwintering my summer potted flowers in the coldframe have been successful. If I have, then we'll be back to the more fiery reds and earthy browns I usually favour.

Garden Bloggers Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. I think I might give Violas another go next year. I had given up on them as they never seem to flower well for me but so many people have mentioned their scent recently I might try again

  2. lovely blackthorn! it apppears that my yard hasn't enough sun for tulips..bummer.

  3. I'm going to have to start sniffing my Violas. I didn't know they had any scent. Hey, maybe that's what I was smelling this morning. I thought it was the Forsythia.

  4. The blackthorn in our hedge is still not flowering. Perhaps we are a couple of weeks behind you although we have been having wonderful warmth and sunshine here too. Love violas. Must have more (and how many times do I say something similar? just greedy, that's me!)

  5. Mmmm. Honey-scented violas and a cup of coffee in the garden. Perfection.

  6. I didn't realize violas had a scent, VP. I guess I've been missing out on this all these years. But I did notice my lilac blooming today, and its heady perfume would drown out anything less powerful. The blackthorn blossoms are lovely!

  7. Hi everyone,

    The Violas have taken me a bit by surprise too. I've detected a slight scent before but a massive bowl of them is definitely the WTG :)

    PG - mine get v moribund during the winter and I've found that by cutting them right back almost to compost level (just make sure there's a little bit of green leaf left on the plant) seems to make them bounce back with increased vigour. You can see from the photo I've just used the very ordinary kind and their perfume is just amazing. I'm never growing winter pansies ever again.

    Elizabethm - NAH's just come back from Tywyn and remarked on how behind all the trees are up there compared with here.

  8. Enjoyed your April flowers VP. I pass a blackthorn hedge on my way to the lottie - it is one of the highlights of the walk at this time of year :)


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