These are sometimes wanted in very large quantities, and there are the three methods of obtaining them - from seed, from cuttings, and from division of the old plants. How to obtain a stock by either method is explained in preceding pages. The possibilities in massing and bedding are so great that these remarks are offered only as suggestions. It is desirable to avoid planting in straight lines. When Violas are employed for an edging to wide borders, an irregular line in the inside should be followed, so that the occupants of the border may extend forward amongst the Violas at different points. If one will have a ribbon border of Violas, let nothing else be associated with them, and let the varieties be most carefully selected for the purpose. The following arrangement would be very effective, as the varieties would all bloom at the same time and the height would gradually rise towards the back row: - Front row, Seagull or Violetta, white; second row, Jubilee, purple; third row, Mrs. E. A. Cade, deep primrose; fourth row, Blue Rock, blue; fifth row, Kingcup, yellow; sixth row, Bridal Morn, deep lavender; seventh row, Snowflake, white. Few people, however, are likely to want anything quite so formal as this, therefore it may be said that the same varieties planted in patches through a large border are much more pleasing.
It is a wise and popular practice to use Violas as a groundwork for other plants. If they are planted in autumn along with bulbs, many charming combinations can be made. It is only necessary to suggest crimson or cardinal late flowering Tulips on a groundwork of white, cream, or pale-yellow Violas; Emperor Narcissus planted thickly among violet or purple coloured Violas; pale-blue Spanish Iris and cream Violas; yellow Spanish Iris and white Violas; Spanish Iris "Thunderbolt" and lavender coloured Violas. Other combinations rise up before the mind - blood-red Wallflower with cream Violas, and Canterbury Bells with Violas.
In June, it is often possible to remove the bulbs and leave the Violas. Then cut away the old growths from the Violas and replant the beds with summer-flowering plants from pots, such as Pelargoniums, Celosias, and Fuchsias. When treated in this way the Viola plants continue blooming throughout the summer. A little reflection will show that numberless combinations can be obtained, but the plans must be made well in advance if success is to be assured.
Violas are used very largely as a groundwork for Rose beds, and here again they are most effective when used in beds which contain distinct varieties of Roses, associating with the Roses such Violas as will harmonise with them.
It is not necessary to say much about the special preparation of beds, because beds which are prepared for bulb culture in September will invariably grow Violas well. In Rose beds there are more difficulties to contend with, and Violas with a dwarf or creeping character should be selected for planting as early as possible after the Rose beds have been dressed for the winter. In combinations of this kind it is best to employ only well-tried varieties, it being unwise to risk failure. New varieties often prove disappointing, and in every case they should be experimented with in a small way before they are employed on a large scale. One can never go wrong with Snowflake, White Beauty, Duchess of York, Pencaitland, and Sylvia among whites; Ardwell Gem and Sulphurea among primrose shades; Kingcup, Klondyke, Grievii, Redbraes Yellow, and Walter Welsh among yellows; Florizel and Kitty Bell among lavenders; Lilacina (Bedding Pansy), Maggie Mott, Blue Duchess, and Favourite among blues; and True Blue, Councillor Waters, and Archibald Grant among dark blues.