International Award for Dorset Violet Specimen

Vive le Violette

Holders of the UK national collection of Violets, Groves Nurseries in Bridport have been awarded first place in a prestigious international Violet festival held last week in Toulouse in France. The award was given for their beautiful tree Violet ‘Amelia Violet Groves Stork’ named after the granddaughter of grower Clive Groves.

Facing stiff competition, the judges said the plant was a ‘specimen d’exception’ – for those who need a translation that means an exceptional specimen! The judges should know as Violets are the city’s emblematic flower, harvested in the region as early as the 19th century and still today massively popular with gardeners in the area and many parts of the world.

Clive Groves commented, “We’ve won trophies from all over Europe including Italy and Portugal where we won the overall prize for most medals and this was presented to me by non-other than the Duke of Braganza but I have to say winning in Toulouse again was very special.”

If you love these beautiful fragrant plants, then a trip in early spring to Toulouse is a must. The city has held its Violet festival since 1952 celebrating and savouring the fragrance, history and season of the Victoria Violet, cultivated in Toulouse, and also to celebrate the coming of spring. The city’s Capitol Square is awash with violet plants and products made with violets such as sweets, perfumes and spirits in ode to this very special beauty.

The UK’s national collection is currently available to view at Groves Nurseries in Bridport.