What is beauty, anyway?
We called it the Viola Beauty Pageant, jokingly referring to the contest held where the beauty of human females was compared while they paraded around wearing various outfits. It was a folly, with names and character traits made up to flesh out the narrative. Last year the pretty faces from the previous spring were shown the following January, a time when they could be better appreciated. The same has been done for the flowers of 2012, with bloom times in April and May, featured now in January.
The viola story begins with the creation of the knot garden at the tippy tip top of this sloping garden. It is a spot that is level, the only such area here, due to its past life as being an alleyway where the garbage trucks would drive through to collect the week’s trash. I cannot imagine dragging rubbish bins up there, but that is the story I was told.
Notebooks of magazine tear sheets carefully assembled to help dream of future gardens included many photos of knot gardens. After the slope was cleared when we moved here in 2000, the very first garden created was a formal knot garden at the top on that valuable level space, edged in salvaged bricks. Tulips went into the four quadrants that fall, overplanted with violas similar to the one shown above. A more complete story about the knot garden can be read by clicking here.
At the same time seeds collected from the Texas garden from whence we had come of Bowle’s Black were scattered in the quads. Those two types of violas were the ancestors of what is now growing in the knot garden. Blue, violet, white and yellow were the colors, mixed and blended in the petals of the volunteers each year. Most all spring forth from the gravel paths rather than the beds intended for growing things.
Viola Beauty Pageants of the past:
Viola Beauty Pageant 2011/2012 Fiona, Greta, Fawn, Gilda, Fleur, Ginger, Fay, Gayia, Desiree.
Viola Beauty Pageant-2010
Simone, Delilah, Elana, Penny, Ann Marie, Chloe, Jill, Kayleen, Beatrix, Geraldine-Miss Congeniality.
Viola Beauty Pageant-2009
Marlene, Blanche, Nadine, Opal, Calypso, Monique, Olivia, Delores, Chrystyne, Loueez, Savannah-Miss Congeniality.
Viola Beauty Pageant
Elspeth, Pearl, Roxey, Isis, Gypsy, Stream, Agnyss, Janet, Chessie, Renata, Inez, Jessica.
2007 winner-Felicty, pre-blogging