Viola ‘Raven’ has some of the darkest flowers in the collection: dark purple bordering on velvety black flowers. Viola ‘Raven’ has a neat compact habit that suits growing in a pot. Such a dark colour needs careful placing or combining so it doesn’t fade into the shadows too much. Try combining with paler violas such as Viola ‘Fiona’ or ‘Rebecca’ for a beautiful pot display.
Violas hybrids are hardy perennial plants, easy to grow and maintain and well suited to a range of garden situations. They are referred to as hybrids because their parentage is so mixed: a result of decades of breeding between various different viola species. They therefore vary in habit enormously: from neat, compact and suitable for pots, to vigorous clump forming perennials for scrambling up through roses or weaving along border fronts. They can be striped and splashed, blotched, bicoloured, or the image of simplicity itself. Many have the added bonus of superb scent. Flowering starts in April and continues through to September if kept regularly deadheaded and given a tomato feed from time to time. Alternatively you can give them a mid Summer chop back to 2 inches growth and a balanced liquid feed to reboot them for a strong second flowering in late Summer and early Autumn. In the garden border they prefer humus rich soils with reasonable drainage, in sun or part shade (avoiding the hottest areas of the garden). For those hybrids listed as suitable for pots: a loam based compost mixed in equal parts with garden or multipurpose compost, with added perlite or grit for drainage and slow release fertiliser works best.Whether planting in the border or pots we recommend planting in groups of three to achieve a good sized clump or pot full of 30-50cm diameter (depending on cultivar).