Lilac blue with a cream face, deep-purple blotch and clutch of whiskers, Viola Sorbet Marina Babyface is sweet beyond belief, and fragrant too. Forms a mound 6 inches high and up to 10 inches across; flowers are an inch or more wide. Very frost tolerant.
A bit quirky but totally cute, the ruffled, often semidouble flowers of Viola Angel Amber Kiss are very un-viola-like. Ruddy orange with a yellow center and rose-colored reverse on the wings. Each flower seems to have its own personality. Plants are 6 to 8 inches across; flowers are about an inch wide.
The warm sunset tones of Angel Terracotta glow in the garden, with a bright-orange face peering from amber-toned petals. Nice in, well, a terra-cotta pot, or paired with tawny plants like Carex testacea, Heuchera 'Amber Waves' or 'Rustic Orange' coleus. Six to 8 inches tall and wide, with quarter-size flowers.
In a crazy-bold color combination, purple pairs with deep russet in Velour Blue Bronze. Bronze tones are darker in the fall, brighter in the spring. A very hot color match with 'Eye of the Tiger' Dutch iris or 'Princess Irene' tulip. Neat mounds of foliage, 6 to 8 inches tall and wide, covered with 1-inch flowers.
A member of the very popular, many-colored Sorbet series from grower PanAmerican Seed Co., Sorbet Black Duet is a sweet little bicolor, with a bright-purple face and velvety dark-plum wings. Sorbets are early to flower after winter has passed and continue through late spring. Plants are 6 inches high and wide; flowers are about an inch across.
This is one of the most unusual and striking violas you'll ever see, with an inky lacework of veining etched across a golden background. Forms a neat mound 4 to 6 inches high and wide, with numerous 1-inch flowers. The entire Angel series from British grower Floranova is undaunted by cold weather and can take heat better than cousin pansy, so they're perfect for taking the garden from early fall into late spring.
I just can't help it – I love brown flowers. Maybe it's the irony; maybe I just have a thing for the color brown. But the malted-milkshake, silvery tones of Velour Frosted Chocolate are on another plane. Part of an award-winning series from Floranova, the flowers in this dainty little one are a bit smaller than its brethren, less than an inch across, with a shape more akin to wild violets. Blooms profusely on compact plants, fall and spring.
A sophisticated blend of soft yellow, lilac and mauve gives Yes! Pineapple Crush a timeless appeal, like a pressed flower from Victorian days. A central burst of whiskers and a bright-yellow eye keep things lively. An added bonus is a silvery overlay that intensifies in warm weather. It's another good candidate for taking the garden through mild winters, with a high tolerance for cold. Upright mounds of spoon-shape leaves are covered with inch-wide flowers in fall and spring.