Weed of the Week – Wild Violets

Wild Violets

Violets tend to grow is shady, acidic soils, but they also get pretty darn happy in sunny areas as well.


  • Lovely, early flowers.
  • A delicious and beautiful additions to salads, drinks and baked goods.
  • Early bloomer, although not terribly attractive to bees and beneficials.
  • Reasonably easy to control if not already established.


  • Prefers shade, but once established it will grow almost anywhere. Can spread rapidly, taking over large areas quickly.
  •  Spreads by rhizomes and seed. Forms extensive colonies.
  • Can carry fungal diseases including rhizoctonia, rust, powdery mildew, leaf spots, anthracnose and downy mildew.

Fun Fact: According to folk lore, violets are a cure for grouchiness.
“Give a grouchy person a tea made from violet blossoms”


  •  An application of lime or hardwood ash has been known to slow growth.
  • Dig violets up with a spade fork, being sure to pull all rhizomes.
  • Mulch can be effective.  Best used after digging out plants and rhizomes to control a new crop from seed.
Before digging, be sure to enjoy some of the tiny, beautiful flowers, either in a salad, drink, or vase!


April 2012

What a fine April it’s been! More seasonal temperatures have luckily tempered the almost undeniable urge to plant. Frosts are possible throughout May, but it’s sure been nice to be able to get our early flowers in, well, early for a change. With the warmth of March and the dryness of April, we’ve had many, many days suitable for planting or field preparation. The crop farmers are getting their fields in and spring has sprung! The seedlings are happy. It will be nice to start getting the rest of them to the field next month. In May we’ll start some perennials for fall planting, so we’ll need the space.

Euphorbia - Snow on the Mountain
Euphorbia seedlings

We’ve spent most of this month planting and preparing beds. Bupleurum, Bachelor Buttons, Nigella, Delphinium, Lisianthus, and Snapdragons are all in. The Lisianthus and Snapdragons are under cover. We are installing drip irrigation to the beds this year. We also tilled all the pathways and planted white dutch clover to minimized further tilling and improve the soil. In it’s second year, it will feed many beneficial insects that will in turn do their job of pollinating and taking out the oh so evil ones. It will require less mowing and be lovely to walk on. Some flowers have also begun to bloom early. The forsythia put on a dazzling display 6 weeks earlier than last spring. They bloomed March 20th and continued for several weeks. The lily of the valley are in their bud stage this last week of April. Last year they bloomed on May 17th. Over all, it’s been a very fine, very early, April in the plant world! We even got our much needed rain on the last day of the month.

Wonderfully Fragrant Lilacs

April’s Bloom List:

  • Lilacs
  • Apple Blossoms
  • Daffodils
  • Spicebush
  • Tulips
  • Bleeding Hearts
Jerid and Grace release the bunnies where there is a lot of spring grass and brush cover. It's hard to see the little bunny, she is sure high tailing it for the brush pile!



After the very mild winter, the critters also seem to want to get an early start this year. We were brought 3 baby bunnies who where living in a high traffic area in the city. Luckily they were old enough to be released. If you find wild bunnies, please do not assume they are abandon. The House Rabbit Society has a lot of information in regards to wild bunnies and what to do if you think the babies need help.

This is their link: http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/orphan.html

There are several wildlife professionals in our area if you do need help with orphans.
Howell Nature Center http://howellnaturecenter.org/

Huron Valley Humane Society is partnered with many wildlife rehabilitation organizations including:

Friends of Wildlife http://www.friendsofwildlife.net/ Help 4 Wildlife http://help4wildlife.com/index.html The Bird Center of Washtenaw County http://www.birdcenterwashtenaw.org/

Huron Valley Humane Society’s emergency rescue phone number: 734-661-3512 The link to their emergency rescue page: http://www.hshv.org/site/PageNavigator/cruelty/rescue.html#.T51KBrNDwfX

Speaking of critters, we have some birdhouse gourds for sale for 8 dollars. They are cleaned and have a pre-drilled 1 3/8” inch hole and hanging wire. They vary in size and shape, no two are alike. They can be painted or finished if desired, or left in their natural state. They are fabulous birdhouses. Just send us an email if you are interested. I put one in our willow tree and a lovely little wren was occupying it within 10 minutes! They are prolific songsters with an amazingly strong voice for such a tiny little bird. We love to hear them sing their little hearts out!

Wren and Birdhouse Gourd
This little wren started building her nest minutes after I hung the birdhouse gourd up.
Birdhouse Gourd

We’ve now got a “meet the critters” page up on the website. The kids will be able to pet and play with many of the animals when we are open for pick your own flowers and self serve bouquets.  Many of you have met them before, but may enjoy seeing their pictures again. You can meet them at our meet the critters link.

Pinto Pony Mare
This is Koa. She's a sweet mare.


Tipper the goat