Groves Violet Festival 3rd - 11th Feb
It’s Groves Nurseries favourite time of year - it’s violet time! To celebrate we are holding a nine day festival from 3rd to the 11th February to show off our fantastic collection.
This winter sunshine is perfect for this special little bloom, which needs shade in the summer but good light levels in the winter to make them flower, so you’ll really get to see the violets looking fantastic. Violets symbolise faithfulness, everlasting love and remembrance, making them a fitting choice for February.
If you’re a violet lover make sure you also call into Ivy House Kitchen for a delicious violet snack made by Head Chef Mike. In keeping with the family theme at Groves Nurseries, Mike’s mum Helen propagates the violets to keep them thriving.
Groves Nurseries holds the National Collection of Viola odorata and Parma Violets, a collection that was started in the 1960s by Charles William Groves, grandfather of Charlie and Becky Groves, and continued by their father Clive, who also developed a passion for these highly scented beautiful little flowers.
The collection is currently home to over 200 different varieties of violets & is thought to be one of the biggest in the world! Charlie and Becky’s Grandfather saved the famous Zambra collection, amongst others, which has been built up to the large collection it is today.
The very first violet he bred was named ‘Clive Groves’ and most members of the family now have violets named after them. This includes six bred by Clive: Eliza May Groves, Madeleine Mary Groves, Ivy Thirza Groves, Amelia Violet Groves Stork, Frederick Peter Groves Stork and Pretty Red Robyn, which are all named after his and Diana Groves’ grandchildren.
Clive continued to grow the collection of Viola odorata and Parma Violets and was awarded National Collection status in 2002. He has won many medals in Europe, as well as getting a silver medal at Hampton Court Flower Show in 2007 and was even knighted by La Confrerie de la Violette in the city hall of Toulouse, France. Clive also won first prize for a tree violet in the International Violet Conference in Toulouse, in 2019, where Chris Groves (Clive's youngest son) also gained first prize in the species category for his photos of rousulate violets, taken when he was botanising in Patagonia.
The Groves collection of violets are available at the garden centre and online and can be ordered for click and collect or home delivery.
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